March Madness Marketing: Buffett’s Last Hoorah

Warren Buffett. He is a symbol of capitalism. Personally, I don’t listen to the guy much anymore because he is more or less a trophy wife. He is just paraded around to entertain the masses…With that said, I would like to tip my hat to the old bastard. He has made one of the most ingenious marketing plays I have ever witnessed. People will be piggy-backing this idea for years to come in some shape or form.

ONE BILLION DOLLARS. It does have a nice ring to it. All you have to do is pick every game correctly in the NCAA Tournament correctly. I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed, but those odds sound pretty slim. Just the same, I am an avid believer in playing lotteries once the pot gets to $220Mish. At that point, you are actually purchasing discounted tickets, but that is neither here nor there. The flashy payout alone is sure to get millions of people to sign up.

Anyone that has ever played in a March Madness bracket knows that nobody is going to win. Therefore, there is no real risk of paying out anything. Further, I feel confident that Buffett assumed the risk via one of his insurance companies so he likely just collects free premium from Quicken. Let me break that down, Quicken gets TONS of free marketing for an insurance policy that will never payout. Buffet gets free publicity for taking Quicken’s money. Now, here’s the BIG kicker. Everyone that signed up to play MUST click the ‘accept ads’ button. Ta-dah. Quicken and Buffett have figured out how to pay themselves to market their product. Amazing.

PS. I made it 3 games before losing. Buffet would be proud as an Ivy League school (Harvard) insured I won’t be retiring next month.

  • “They say that nobody is perfect.  Then they tell you practice makes perfect.  I wish they’d make up their minds.”  ~ Wilt Chamberlain
  • “Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.” ~ John Wooden
  • “You can’t live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you.”  ~ John Wooden

Three Times A Lady

Paronomasia is more simply called a pun
Those who leave early will never have to run

The dew on the green.The crisp of the morn
Rhetoric obscene. Emotionally torn

A fistful of $20’s and a gal on your lap
A glass full of crown and a white owl wrap

The lobby was closed. The air was dry
The champagne room is always worth a try

Sex is a consolation. Lust is afore
A nibble of sugar. A thirst for more

The night was gone. They were too
Three heads isn’t always better than two

A man of many words is a believer of none
If you are casting stones then you must not own a gun

Banking in 2014: The Death Derivative

Over the past year, banking deaths or “suicides” as they are routinely tagged, have been on the rise. Any idea why?  Seems pretty odd that as many people are falling to their death from penthouse offices as there are steelworkers 2,000 feet high, doesn’t it?

First, to help you understand, let’s take a look at Wal-Mart. About a decade or so ago, someone obtained an inner-office memo between a high ranking Wal-Mart official and their insurance agency. In the memo, the high ranking official is upset with the insurance agency because Wal-Mart didn’t make any money that particular year through insurance. Wait….make money on insurance? Yup…

Ever wonder why Wal-Mart only hires people half as smart as you? Ever think, I bet that person is not only handicapped, but too dumb to know their left from their right? We all have at some point I bet. Lord knows, I would consider a Wal-Mart ‘greeter’ as the lowest IQ job on the planet. This probably makes you ask yourself. Why on earth would a large company hire twice as many incapable employees when they could hire some qualified individuals in this economy?

What if you took out insurance policies on all of your employees? Most businesses couldn’t afford to do this as it would take a large amount of capital to pay out on thousands of policies for 10+ years before having a chance to collect a return on your investment. WalMart not only had the money, but the brains to realize that if they hired people with short life expectancies, they would make a return on their investment MUCH quicker. Ethical? Nah. Moral. Nah. A money maker? Of course.

This brings me back to that leaked memo. In the memo, the agent explains to the official that WalMart didn’t make a return that particular year because several of the deaths were suicides (most insurance policies do NOT pay out for suicides).

Now this brings me your next history lesson. Around this same time, in 2007, banks created a Life Index. That’s right, a way to more/less invest in deaths. (Hell, they had to do something since the real estate bubble we were living in had popped) In late 2013, these indexes became burdened for several reasons. Now, you are starting to see the deaths of many high ranking and predominately young (younger the better for a payout) bankers.

In Layman’s terms, this means that banks are betting that people die sooner rather than later. That is because these same banks will need to pay the insurance companies if they have to payout more money than they had actuarially predicted because the people they cover are living longer. The bottom line is that these banks are looking to profit from early deaths. The longer the insured individuals live beyond an agreed upon average age, the more the bank must reimburse the insurance companies. Not to mention that most employers have policies on these high ranking officials already. I suppose double dipping never tasted so good.

  • “To the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure.” ~ J.K. Rowling
  • “The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.” ~ Mark Twain
  • “A thing is not necessarily true because a man dies for it.” ~Oscar Wilde

Generosity Is Its Own Form Of Power

Freedom is birth. It is chosen for none.
Hypocrisy and envy have already won.

Recovery is a road that must be traveled alone.
Gratitude is a feeling generally expressed in their tone.

What good are deep roots if you have a feeble core?
What fun is making money if it always feels like a chore?

Decisions based on emotion aren’t very well decisions at all,
If you don’t look before you leap, why don’t you deserve to fall?

As I grow older my father seems more and more wise.
Like a typewriter with no shift key, I still cannot capitalize.

Days grow longer and my patience improves
No matter how old I get, I still hate to lose.

My patience is akin to a thief in the night
My mind is fading like a dogleg right

  • “To live is to suffer. To survive, well, that’s to find meaning in the suffering.” ~ Earl Simmons (DMX)
  • “Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need. ” ~ Kahlil Gibran
  • “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” ~ Winston Churchill