One of new favorite shows is Shark Tank on ABC. On Shark Tank, entrepreneurs pitch their business or invention to a group of successful businessmen, the sharks. Mark Cuban is often on the panel of investors. If the investors like the business an equity offer is negotiated and the entrepreneur can accept or reject the investor’s offer.
On a recent show, a business called “Man Candles” was pitched to the “sharks”. The sharks ultimately decided against investing in this company because it was thought that this was too much of a novelty business that could not be scaled up enough for the sharks to realize a big enough return. The sharks are accustomed to investing millions of dollars and wish to be able to scale a business to that size. While this may be true, the Man Candles company can still be a very successful small to mid size company. Just being on Shark Tank is positive marketing for the Man Candles.
Man Candles produces men scented candles. Scented candles that appeal to men. Unlike candles of flower fragrances or potpourri which women seem to like the man candles have such scents as draft beer, new car, and sawdust. Their are food scented candles like bacon, pizza, and pot roast.
With father’s day coming up, a gift of man candles may be a good gift for the man in your life. Just
don’t buy them anything with “potpourri” in it. Right now their is a Shark Tank special where if you buy three candles you get their best selling scented candle for free, the “fart” candle.
Apr 14th, 2011 by alyoung
Few things in life work as advertised. My kids are learning that lesson now as everything looks great on the commercials, but performed less than satisfactory once they play with it and they quickly become bored with it. As a kid, I learned that lesson by buying things advertised on comic books which never met my expectations. Come on…x-ray glasses? I had to relearn that lesson as an adult as I bought more than my share of late night infomercial products which are marketed superbly, but only performed “ok” once I got the product in the mail. However, once in awhile you do come across a product that performs as advertised. I recently purchased such a product, the gyro bowl. You may have seen the gyro bowl infomercial on tv. Advertised to be “spill proof”, the gyro bowl rotates 360
degrees when held to prevent spilling. I have a 16 month baby and spillage is a daily occurrence as most parents of small children can relate. We are satisfied with our purchase and it generally works well. The amount of spills has definitely gone down since we started using it, but it is far from “spill proof”. The gyro bowl works well under “normal” conditions. The child can grab the bowl and snack from it without accidentally spilling the contents. However, my son often tries to spill the contents of the bowl by turning and shaking the bowl and it does spill. If your child tries to spill the bowl, they can but not without some effort. It works well under “normal” conditions. So the gyro bowl does work as advertised but not with the more mischievous children such as my boy. You can order the gyro bowl online or at the “As seen on tv” stores found in many malls or at Walmart or Target. It is cheaper online but you have to pay shipping charges so it works out to be about the same. The gyro bowl is great for giving snacks while driving and if you are tired of cleaning up toddler spills each day, the gyro bowl is worth a shot.
Apr 12th, 2011 by alyoung
It has been awhile since I updated the blog with new information. I’ve posted on Facebook more than I have blogged which is sad because I enjoy blogging more than Facebook. However, blogging does take much more effort and time than posting random things on Facebook. And we all have “friends” like those who post random things all day and night. Sure there are a lot of crappy blogs that are similar to Facebook posts, but not if you take a little pride in what you blog. I enjoy blogging because it helps me write better and you can put more thought into what you post. Blogging endures over time while Facebook posts are quickly forgotten as it should because there is no substance, just someone posting a status to hear their own voice or informing the world what they just ate for lunch. Even though I have not posted on my blog for quite some time, I still get a fairly good number of visitors each day. Most people are readers hoping to find something new and end up disappointed or I am found thru Google. My most popular post where I get hundreds of readers thru Google each week is a post I wrote in October of 2007 on The Importance of Being On Time. If you google “importance of being on time”, my post ranks #1. Rather than come up with new ideas to write about, I will revisit this popular post where I rant about people who are always late and how inconsiderate
that is etc… and how we can do a better job of being on time. If you have not read it before check it out. It may convince you to be more punctual and offer you tips to help you improve your on time ratio. The subject is still timely. At our young family meeting at church, we had an ongoing problem of the meeting never starting on time. It makes it difficult for the planners to have an efficient meeting with stragglers coming in late for nearly an hour. The usual excuses were given about kids and how hard it is to get them there on time, blah blah blah. However as I said in my original post, those are just excuses and it is not the child’s fault but rather the parents for not properly planning and stressing to the family the importance of being on time. To help combat the problem in our group, a fine system was instituted where if you were late you had to pay a small fine of $1-2. It was a light hearted way to stress the need to be on time. Its too early to see if it helps the situation, but as adults we should not need such prodding to simply be on time. Since I wrote that post nearly 4 years ago, my family situation changed with the addition of a new baby in December 2010. I admit it has been more of a challenge to be on time although it is of no fault of the new baby. Babies are actually easy to be on time with, you just take them with you, they have no choice. Although our family has been on time for the most part, when we are running late it is due to me not planning properly. Either I stayed up too late and tried to sneak some more sleep in or I allowed my other older kids to dilly dally around without regards to getting ready to go. By doing so I condoned placing a lesser priority to getting there on time. I reread my original post and am determined to make being on time a priority once again. If you are having problems with timeliness, I invite you to read my most popular post of all time for ideas and inspiration
Ever wonder how hard it would be to change your identity and start over somewhere else? Sure you have seen it done in the movies but can it be done in real life? This young Chinese man tried to do disguise himself and sneak into Canada from Hong Kong. You can read the story here. Even though he was not successful, he did a good job. Frankly I don’t know how he failed. I suspected it was because he did pay attention to the details such as young looking hands. His face and body looked great but he probably forgot to cover his hands which would have been a giveaway.
Jun 28th, 2010 by alyoung
In recent days Apple stock(AAPL) has touched upon its 52 weeks high of over $275 a share largely due the huge demand for its new 4G Iphone. I have been bullish on AAPL for some time now along with many others. I think it still has fuel to even higher, but buying more AAPL at these levels is a problem for many investors. First at $270 a share its too expensive for many investors. When they say too expensive it often means two things. First, the stock price has gone up too far and too fast meaning it could just as easily fall very quickly to “correct” itself. The second barrier investors have to buying at these levels is the price of the stock. Investors often look at the number of shares they can buy rather than the price. At these levels they cannot buy many shares. Just a hundred shares would cost an investor $27,000. But what if you could buy AAPL for $11.50 instead of $270. Now AAPL is a bargain instead of expensive. Can you buy AAPL for $11.50? Yes you can using an option strategy called the LEAP Bull spread. First some definitions. An option is a contract to buy but not an obligation to purchase or sell a stock at a certain price within a certain time. This strategy involves the buying and selling of options contact. A LEAPS option are just longer term options. Regular option contracts have a short time frame of a few months but LEAP options can go out over several years giving the investor the advantage of having more time to be right on the trade. An option spread means you are buying and selling two different call options. You buy one option at a lower strike price and at the same time sell the other option at a higher strike price to lower your cost. To illustrate how this trade would work, I will show you a paper trade I made in April on AAPL. Its a paper trade because I did not actually make the trade with my money, only on paper. I now wish I did, but once you understand it you can use it on any expensive priced stock that you are bullish on such as AAPL or Google. In April 2010 AAPL was trading at $242 the 52 week high at the time. All the buzz was on Ipad sales. I was bullish on AAPL and thought it could go much higher based upon its existing product sales and the release of the 4G Iphone. I continue to believe that $300 by the end of the year is possible. Instead of buying a few shares at $242 I wanted to buy AAPL at a much cheaper price. I looked to the January options thinking that with strong Iphone sales and holiday sales, the 4th quarter would be particularly strong for AAPL. If so I believe AAPL stock could go much higher by January 2011. Based upon that belief here is the trade that I could have made to buy AAPl for $11.50 in April of 2010 when the stock was trading at $242.
- Buy the January call for Apple 2011 $260 calls for $21 per contract.
- Sell the January call For Apple 2011 $300 calls for $9.50 per contract.
- Net Cost: $11.50(excluding commissions)
Each option contract is for 100 shares. The end result is that you risk much less money upfront than you would have by buying the shares outright. If the stock continues to rise as I believe you could make three times or more on your investment while risking just 5% of the current share price. The downside of such a trade is that your option contract could expire worthless if they are out of the money when the contract expires in January 2011. You could lose your entire $11.50. LEAP options gives more time than regular options, in this case 9 months, but you do not have the luxury of holding on for several years if AAPL tanks. In reality you will probably not lose your entire $11.50. If conditions change for AAPL and it looks like you will not be profitable on this trade you can bail out and sell your contract at any time before the expiration date and cut your losses. The most you can lose on this trade is $11.50 but likely less than that. If we were to close our position today(6/25/10) on this trade by
selling our January 2011 $260 call here is what our profit would be.
- Sell the January $260 call for $36
- Less cost of $11.50
- Profit = $24.50 or 313% in 3 months
Not a bad profit for 3 months and it could even be more profitable, but as I said it was only a paper trade for me. AAPL rose from $242 but it is a very volatile stock and it gave me several chance to make this trade over the last 3 months. Sadly I passed upon it each time. I am still bullish on AAPL at $270 just as I was at $242. You can use this strategy to buy AAPL for a fraction of its current stock price. You just need to create an option spread at different price levels and the time frame you are comfortable with. I also believe that the stock price will give you an opportunity to enter at a more favorable price. This post is for educational and entertainment purposes only. The above information is not to be taken as an actual stock recommendation.
Jun 24th, 2010 by alyoung
Another one of kids has reached another milestone in their life. My middle child Mia has graduated from Kindergarten. Where has the time gone? Mia has proven to be a achiever as she begins her academic career. Here are some pictures from her big day.
BFFs Mia Y. and Mia V.
Jun 23rd, 2010 by alyoung
Its been quite awhile since I posted on the blog. So many things in my head but not time to put it on the blog. It would be impossible to catch up with everything now but I will do my best with pictures. It can’t cover everything but it will give you an idea of what I have been up to for all these months.
Sep 11th, 2009 by alyoung
In order to save money dining out, our favorite option is to use discount restaurant gift certificates from restaurant.com. Currently
they are running a sale on gift certificates, 90% off. $25 gift certificates are only $1. They run sales from time to time but it does not get any better than this. I am sure you will find a new restaurant to try or even find a old favorite. Here is one of our favorite which is even better at a steep discount, Forbes Mills Steakhouse in Danville. Follow the banner to purchase your gift certificates thru September 13 and use the discount code: Ninety
Even better than discount food is free food. If you have kids you know how frustrating it is to dine out with kids only to have them not eat their food which you paid good money for. Fortunately you can find free food for you kids almost any day of the week at a variety of restaurants. See the websites below to find free food for your children. On a recent “boys weekend” my son and I found several restaurants where he was able to eat for free. One drawback is that it is not such a good deal if your child is a heavy eater. You can only get free food from the child’s menu which is not enough for my growing seven year old boy, so I have to order him another entree. So instead of a free child’s meal I end up only getting a free child’s appetizer. For most kids it should be enough food for them. FYI: Kids eat free at Hooters on Sunday although we decided against trying it. That’s our story and we are sticking to it.
101 Restaurants Where Kids Eat Free
Kids Meal Deals