After getting back from South Korea back in 2015, the wife and I went and got ourselves an apartment (where we lived for a little over a year before buying a house, value investing style). We needed some supplies when moving in, including laundry soap. So we went to Wal-Mart where they had this bad boy on sale for $9.99.

Just marvel at the size of that thing. It could fight off a home invasion on its own, no problem.

That bad boy says 140 uses, but that’s if you fill the cap to capacity each time you do a load of laundry. We didn’t, so we probably got 300-400 loads of laundry. For $10. What a fantastic deal.

A certain personal finance blogger I used to make fun of once made his own laundry detergent. He claimed to cut his laundry costs from $0.30 to $0.03 per load by using his batch of homemade goo. Meanwhile, I just did laundry for three years for just $10 at approximately $0.03 per load by just buying a cheaper brand and not filling the detergent cap/cup up all the way.

We’ve got maybe enough detergent for another month or two left, so I’m hoping to score another container on sale between now and then. Even if I have to pay regular price of around $13 I’m still in pretty cheap laundry territory.

My wife has found a way to make laundry even cheaper — she dries her clothes on a drying rack. I just can’t bring myself to do that, even if it can save me money.

The main takeaway from this, at least from an investing perspective, is that Tide is doomed. There’s no way I’m paying Tide prices for laundry detergent. The Arm & Hammer stuff is about half the price. More people are going to realize this and Tide is going to lose market share.

There’s an argument to buying name brand cookies or chips or even toilet paper. You’re paying for quality and for the prestige of that name. When somebody comes over for the game you serve Doritos, not Great Value brand taco flavored corn triangles. I don’t think that same argument applies to Tide.

Links I liked

1. Let’s start things off with some of my articles at Motley Fool to get them out of the way. Here’s a stock I own that hasn’t missed a dividend since 1833 and an article about SNC-Lavalin, which I think is probably a pretty good value right now. I concluded on Twitter the other day SNC shares were probably worth $50-$55 (they’re $37 today), but I’m not sure if I can pull the trigger. The taint of scandal seems to follow the company wherever it goes.

2. ANOTHER Seeking Alpha calling Brookfield Property Partners their top pick of 2019? Okay, sure. Join the party. These seem to be working — after earnings on Thursday the stock is up nearly 20% for the year and it announced a 5% dividend increase. The stock could do nothing for the rest of the year and I’d be happy with results.

3. Canadian Value Investors has an interesting post about Truet-Hurst, a special situations scenario with a California winemaker likely to go private in the next few months. There’s a reason I loved these kinds of situations as a deep value investor — there’s usually money to be made.

4. Gen Y Money took a closer took at the standard 12-month maternity leave versus the new 18-month option. Naturally these things are about more than just money but it seems pretty clear to me what the best financial choice is.

Fun fact: one of the male employees at my grandparents’ old folks home took six months off when his wife had a child and the old people criticized the hell out of him for it. By far the old ladies were the worst. Don’t let their sweet offers to bake you cookies sway you from the truth — old ladies are the meanest people on the planet. Hitler probably feared his grandmother.

5. Next up is Andrew Hallam, via Asset Builder, with a sad story about the fall of Bitcoin and the many thousands of people it ultimately impacted. One of my co-workers at the grocery store and I used to crack jokes about the price of Bitcoin all the time. “It’s up $500 today! Those people are nuts!” Good times.

6. After Potash merged with Agrium the ticker symbol POT became available. Approximately 4,000 marijuana companies joined the lottery to get the ticker symbol. The winner, a tiny marijuana company with a market cap of under $30 million before it won, saw shares surge 65% after. That whole sector continues to amaze me, and not in a good way either.

7. Think you’re going to beat the market by waiting patiently with your pile of cash and then buying the dips? I used to. Now I know better. Here’s Of Dollars and Data throwing cold water on all your market timing dreams.

Remember, you don’t need to sit on a pile of cash to cherry pick the best opportunities. There are thousands of stocks out there. Surely you can find one or two that’s a decent value today.

8. Want a truly sustainable 10% yield? Dividend Earner has you covered. I took a closer look at the stock he mentioned a few weeks ago and figured I’d do more research on a pullback. The pullback happened but I was not paying attention. Now it’s over. All the sads.

9. Pickings are a little slim this week, so allow me to add another link to something I wrote. This is about a small-cap REIT long-time readers might remember I was pretty bullish on a few years ago. I still like it a ton today.

10. And finally, here’s Dale Roberts over at Seeking Alpha on why stocks like Texas Instruments will beat the Verizons of the world in retirement income. If you have a long-term approach, that is.

Stay tuned for next week when we look at useless ETFs, why so many celebrities buy real estate, and much more.

Have a good weekend, everyone.

Tell everyone, yo!