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8 Investment Lessons from the Largest Pizza Chains in the U.S.

Posted on the 01 March 2013 by Mdelp

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8 investment lessons from the largest pizza chains in the U.S.
I don’t know what I enjoy more, making money or eating a delicious slice of pizza so it made perfect sense to me to make this latest installment of my 8 Investment Lessons series about these two hobbies of mine.

  1. Expand your investment search criteria beyond the obvious choices. The five largest pizza chains in the U.S. as tracked by industry trade magazine PMQ Pizza are 1) Pizza Hut 2) Domino’s 3)Papa John’s 4) Little Caesars and 5) Papa Murphy’s Take and Bake. I’ve eaten pizzas from four of these chains but in my opinion the local pizzeria around the corner from me still makes the best pie.  If the only mutual funds I might consider investing in were the ones that advertised the most then I would have missed out on some truly amazing returns from some lesser known funds.
  2. Diversify your income sources. Pizzas are what these chains are known for, but every single one of them offers other items on their menus such as sodas, salads, wings, etc.
  3. Great investment advice works any time of day. Like most foods, pizza is delicious when it’s fresh from the oven but I think it also tastes pretty good served cold the next day from breakfast or reheated as leftovers for lunch. This is a far cry from French fries that to me are only edible, let alone delicious, for the few minutes after they come out of the fryer. Advise like “spend less than you make” will likely work just as well tomorrow as it will today unlike “top stocks to buy this year” which can turn your portfolio from a zero to a hero and back again before you know it.
  4. There is no one slice fits all. My favorite pizza is a thin crust with pineapple and ham on top. My friend from Chicago where they are known for their deep dish pizzas said he would rather eat cardboard than eat thin crust pizza. Oh well. What works for me might not work for you. People who invest only in index funds believe people who only invest in traditional funds are crazy. People who invest only in individual stocks believe people who invest in funds are crazy.
  5. Outsourcing has its advantages. When I order from a pizza chain I’m outsourcing the shopping, preparation, and cooking of that meal. Yes, I can make pizza from scratch at home but that would take a lot longer and the results would probably not be as good. On the other hand, I love making cookies at home with the kids. There are some areas of my portfolio I outsource to others because I don’t have the time nor inclination to do the necessary research while there are other areas of my account that I take a more hands on approach with.
  6. Too much of a good thing can be bad for you. If I had my way, pizza would be one of the four food groups but even I can’t eat it all day every day.
  7. Pizza tastes better when I have friends around. Sometimes before I invest in something I run the idea by one or two of my friends. This serves two purposes 1) it makes me clarify the points as to why I should invest and 2) it provides another set of eyes to look at potential risks and returns.
  8. Pizza tastes better when I have something cold to drink with it. I love the excitement and gains I earn from stocks (pizza with jalapenos) but sometimes things get too spicy (2008) and when that happens I’m glad I have my bonds (water/soda/beer) nearby to cool me down.

Are there any lessons you would like to add to this list?


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