Deconstructing the Dunkin’ Donuts 3-3-12 Promo: How Much Did I Save and Why Dunkin Benefits More From the Deal

In this post, I am not just going to calculate the discount from a run-of-the-mill Dunkin’ Donuts food promo (because that would be too easy), but also try to connect it to the concept of self-interest and the invisible hand. By the way, this is NOT an advertorial. This is a legitimate post y’all.   I love donuts and I love promos more. Upon entering a neighborhood Dunkin’ Donuts (DNKN:US see latest stock quote), I planned to take out one – or maybe two – donuts home. However, I saw this poster.

Dunkin Donuts 3-3-12 promo
Is this really a great deal? Poster of Dunkin’ donuts 3-3-12 promo. Image from official Dunkin’ Donuts Philippines twitter account

The franchise owner for Dunkin’ Donuts in the Philippines is Golden Donuts Incorporated. The promo price for this box of donuts is PHP 199 (USD 4.51). If I buy the donuts separately, this is what I’ll have to pay:

  • 3 premium donuts – PHP 35 each – total of  PHP 105
  • 3 regular donuts –     PHP 20 each – total of PHP 60
  • 12 munchkins –          PHP 4 each  –  total of PHP 48

Separately, the donuts cost a total of PHP 213, so there’s a savings of PHP 14 (USD 29 cents) or 6.6% with the promo. In my opinion, that small a discount is not really a good deal. Continue reading Deconstructing the Dunkin’ Donuts 3-3-12 Promo: How Much Did I Save and Why Dunkin Benefits More From the Deal

Health and Finance: The “January Effect” for Fitness and the Associated “Failed” Statistics

One of my earliest posts this month was about the “January effect” for stock investments.

It seems that there is also this kind of phenomenon when it comes to fitness. Here are possible reasons why people care more about their physical fitness during January:

  • Many people eat a lot during the holidays and they will want to shed the extra pounds gained.
  • The start of the year also brings about “new year’s resolutions”. To be more physically fit is a popular goal.
  • Many gyms and fitness related companies offer discounts and various promotions at the start of the year. Of course, they may be doing that to take advantage of the higher fitness interest among consumers; a chicken or egg situation perhaps.
  • For some reason, many of those who want to get fit but have been putting it off for months, will choose to start in January.
  • Gym newcomers will prefer to be in the company of newcomers. January is the best month for this purpose.

Like investments though, the highs in January may not necessarily be sustained for the rest of the year, and Facebook has the answer. Continue reading Health and Finance: The “January Effect” for Fitness and the Associated “Failed” Statistics

Is the Miss Universe Pageant an Asset or Liability to Donald Trump?

In 1996, Donald Trump acquired the Miss Universe Organization. At that time, the acquisition seemed to make a lot of sense.

The Miss Universe pageant was being seen as outdated and cheesy and Mr. Trump’s expertise in branding – after all, he has made his name in turning around real estate properties – was seen as something that would revive the pageant. “Trump puts his hand in things that are very profitable and glamorous”, said one pageant expert at that time.

Despite its dwindling audiences in developed countries, Miss Universe was still very popular in Latin America and Asia. Though already known in the United States at that time, Mr. Trump was relatively unrecognizable in the rest of the world. The pageant was supposed to endear Mr. Trump to the countries he planned to expand his businesses in.

The partnership seemed to go in the right direction. The already popular Miss Universe pageant also became known as “Donald Trump’s beauty contest” around the world. Mr. Trump’s expertise in marketing luxury projects found its way in Miss Universe. In 2001, supermodels Elle Macpherson and Naomi Campbell, hosted the Miss Universe contest, in an effort to give the pageant a more upmarket vibe.

Things began to change in 2004. Donald Trump appeared in the show “The Apprentice”. Continue reading Is the Miss Universe Pageant an Asset or Liability to Donald Trump?

Outsourcing Gone Too Far? The Miss Philippines National Costume Drama

Outsourcing is big business. The industry is currently estimated to be worth hundreds of billions of dollars.  Companies in countries with high costs will outsource some of their processes in countries where labor and materials are cheaper yet dependable.

But are there limits to what can or cannot be outsourced to another country? Can goods/ services of national and cultural importance be outsourced to foreign entities?

Those questions have been part of a hot topic recently in the Philippines. During the national costume presentation at the Miss Universe pageant in Doral Forida, Miss Phlippines, Mary Jean Lastimosa, wore a national costume that drew mostly negative comments on the internet.

The internet asked “What the hell was that?” Miss Philippines Mary Jean Lastimosa’s national costume for the Miss Universe pageant in Doral. Image from Jory Rivera/ OPMB worldwide

 

Some compared her dress to a wedding cake. Some compared her outfit to a multi-flavored ice cream combo. Some compared her outfit to a float filled with flowers. On a more serious note, many questioned the relevance of her outfit to Filipino culture.  Continue reading Outsourcing Gone Too Far? The Miss Philippines National Costume Drama

The Blues on the First Workday After a Long Holiday

We are all familiar with the Monday blues. But there is something much worse than Mondays — It is the first workday after a long holiday. What makes this day specially bad?

  • There’s a lot of work to do – because tasks didn’t just miraculously accomplish themselves during the holidays.
  • Long lines in banks and government offices. It’s permit and licensing season in the Philippines as well, so expect mayhem in queues everywhere.
  • A lot more shoulda woulda coulda from people who just slept through the break and didn’t make any plans
  • For those who actually made plans, a hoilday mood that will take longer to shift to work mood.
  • Specifically for the Papal visit, a lot of people got drenched in the rain during the record breaking mass. They may be ill now. Those who are not ill will have more work to do, since the ill ones will call in sick.
  • Specifically for the Papal visit, a lot of people were on their best behavior while the Pope was here. Your co-worker may suddenly unleash the nasty side that he’s been suppressing all week long.

 

What about the markets? Do they do well after a long break or did they also get the blues? — or since this is finance related — the reds? Continue reading The Blues on the First Workday After a Long Holiday

Who’s Fracking What?

Wonder why gas prices are low nowadays?

It seems Fracking has a lot to do with this phenomenon.

Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is the process of extracting natural gas from shale rock layers deep within the earth. Read more about Fracking at  http://www.what-is-fracking.com/.

 

This is how they Frack. Image from www.biggerpieforum.org

The Fracking revolution in the United States has been cited as the cause of lower crude oil prices in 2014. See the graphs from the Motley Fool website.

However, in 2015, these low prices may eventually put pressures on Fracking as firms struggle with lower profitability. It seems that Fracking is becoming a victim of its own success.

 

It’s January… time for the “January effect”.

The January effect pertains to the stock rally usually observed during the first month of the year. These are some of the reasons attributed to this:

 

  • Investors sell off their stocks in December to create losses to offset some of their gains for the year. They do this to reduce taxes. Investors start buying again in January which leads to a rally.
  • During the holidays, people are busy with holiday-related activities such as shopping, partying, vacationing, etc. People also use most of their available funds for holiday spending. In January, people may be more focused on the market. Those who experienced spending “fatigue” may use their available funds to invest instead when January comes.
  • People  who “promise” to themselves that they will start investing will likely do so at the start of the year. After all, “New Year’s resolutions” are executed in January. This is the time when people start doing responsible activities such as exercising, dieting, taking up a new hobby, organizing stuff… and investing.
  • Investors tend to be optimistic at the start of the year. This optimism leads to a rally.

 

Start watching the markets, and you might just catch a rally.