Carnival of Wealth, Mad Jack Churchill Edition

 

Now this is the face of a man who just loves killing himself some Nazis.

Now this is the face of a man who just loves killing Nazis.

 

Presenting the only World War II soldier confirmed to have killed an enemy with an arrow.

When the Krauts invaded Poland, Lt-Col Churchill reenlisted at the age of 34. He’d left the British Army years earlier, the peace of the 1930s unsuited to the mindset of a guy whose first name was “Mad.” He’d go into combat armed with a longbow and a claymore. Again, this was WWII, not the Crusades. It’s not as if Browning rifles hadn’t been invented. Mad Jack would fight his enemies with centuries-old weapons just for the fun of it. He carried bagpipes and grenades, simultaneously. These days, that’s part of a Halloween costume. For Mad Jack it was another day at the office.

He fought the Axis forces in Germany, Italy, and what is now Croatia. He escaped a concentration camp, forced his way out of SS control, walked 90 miles to freedom and then, instead of taking well-deserved leave, went to Burma to fight Japanese. Weeks later, when he heard the news about Hiroshima and Nagasaki, he uttered the single greatest quote we’ve ever heard:

If it wasn’t for those bloody Yanks, we could have kept the war going another 10 years.

Jack died in 1996. Still, don’t piss him off.

Jason at Hull Financial Planning fought in Bosnia with an M16, but could probably have wrought havoc with stones and a sling. As it is, he’s the only person we know who can quote Ted DiBiase and Donatella Versace in consecutive weeks. This week Jason explains the Peltzman Effect, and how it applies to your retirement savings.

PKamp3 at DQYDJ.net knows how we feel about emergency funds, but also knows to put inert money to good use. He explains how using a Health Savings Account for contingencies and unexpected expenses makes more sense than the mindless method of putting thousands of dollars in a negligible-interest savings account. We’d explain why, but that would defeat the purpose of having you read his brilliant (ho hum, as usual) article.

Well, how about that. The illiterate guy who runs This, That and the MBA is back. This is an actual passage written by someone claiming to be a postgraduate degree-holder. You should read it aloud for the full effect. Not if there are other people in the room, though, the reason for which will soon be obvious:

Loans are always misunderstand as a mechanism for help in poor financial status. However, truth is different that is almost all wealthy investors repeatedly utilize loans to help themselves become wealthier.

Great stuff, Christopher. Thanks for dragging down the level of discourse in a way that few submitters can.

Benjamin Graham said that dividends are the investor’s secret weapon. Nelson Smith at Financial Uproar says that Benjamin Graham is dead and buried. Who doesn’t like dividends? Nelson, and his reasons for eschewing dividend growth stocks make a lot of sense. And intuitively, why would a company weaken its cash position by giving part of the store away? (Short answer: Because the managers control enough of the company that they can reward themselves from its coffers.) Graham’s mentee, Warren Buffett, has never paid a dividend in his decades at the helm of Berkshire Hathaway; which, by the way, last traded at $183,860. Dividends are awesome if you’re an opportunistic investor, maybe less so if you’re trying to build a lasting company. Nelson would prefer to invest in the latter.

We’re probably the only personal finance site that’s never read Michael Lewis’s The Big Short, and that primarily because his previous effort Moneyball was such a pile of tailings. Yes, it was critically acclaimed and influential, whatever. The thing needed an editor like Chris Christie needs a personal trainer. That people can call Malcolm Gladwell a hack on a planet that Michael Lewis inhabits makes no sense. Anyhow, Harry Campbell at Your PF Pro did read The Big Short 4 years after its release, and has our sympathies. His review of the book is probably better than the book itself is.

A couple of years ago we explained how currency arbitrage can open up unexplored parts of the world to a savvy traveler. Justin at Root of Good not only agrees, but explains in great detail (with charts and everything) which country’s currencies have lost value against the greenback over the past year and are thus worth a visit. While Justin waits for the euro to lose value against the U.S. dollar (NB: Keep waiting), much of an entire hemisphere is on sale for him and his family. This is a welcome post, one that shouldn’t be dismissed out of hand just for a single solitary sorry “chilly/Chile” pun. In some respects, the man had no choice.

Thanks again for reading. This is where we tell you to read us on Investopedia and listen to us on the Stacking Benjamins podcast. The end.

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