By popular demand, Patrick somehow updated the 179 recommendations that run through last May, so his spreadsheet now runs through last week . . .

Patrick Johnson:  “Here it is — 11 good months for both the market and your picks. Now up to 195 recommendations by my count. Average return of 77.36%, average holding period up slightly to 4.10 years. Compounded return 15.10% — $195,000 invested became $345,861.”

☞ There will doubtless be further tweaks — and, if we’re lucky, further occasional updates.  As previously noted, here and here, there are various grains of salt with which these results should be taken.

Daniel H.:  “Kudos to Patrick!  Wow, that was a lot of work.  I have to take a nap just thinking about it.”


Dennis King: “You mention the economic benefits of using SodaStream.  I disagree with your analysis – at least for soft drinks.  I rarely pay more than 99 cents for a 2 liter Diet Coke and $3.50 for a Twelve Pak of Diet coke cans. .29 cents per can.   And unless you are just drinking fizzy water, you do not mention the cost of the other ingredients that go into making a carbonated soft drink.   Let’s see: a 60 Liter Soda Stream Co2 cartridge — $30 at Target.  Cola Syrup (enough to make 60 liters) — $67 at Target.   A total of $97 for 60 Liters of cola.  Versus $30, for 30 two-liter bottles, at my grocery store (on sale) or beverage store (normal price).  Or about $50 for the equivalent in cans.  From where I stand, it looks like “buying in” to this product will double or triple my cost of soft drinks.  Around here, plastic and aluminum cans are recycled as well.  A nickel (refundable) deposit per can or bottle gets a lot of them recycled.  So, I am not sure of the environmental benefit either.  I realize that prices are often MUCH higher in larger metro areas, but even at double the cost, it seams as if SodaStream just does not make economic sense.”

☞ You mean the CO2 cartridge has to be replaced? <LOL>  I may have to rethink the economics.  But I do think that not-producing-and-transporting billions of cans and bottles has environmental advantages over producing and recycling them.

Stewart Dean:  “Sorry to be a wet blanket about SodaStream, but [not everyone is thrilled by the joint Palestinian-Israeli factory clip you linked to] — see here.  And as to why the SuperBowl ad was banned, see here.  And what about Fizzgiz?”

☞ Well, Fizzgiz looks a bit awkward compared to SodaStream; and the SuperBowl link — while interesting — doesn’t strike me as a knock on SodaStream; and controversy over the disputed territories . . . well, I still found that clip persuasive.

I don’t claim to be an expert in any of this, though I can tell you the diet pink grapefruit soda is good — I just finished my first liter.

Bill Schwartz:  “Love the SodaStream, have had it for years. Use it constantly (we love seltzer, have never used it for soda).  Yes, I replace the CO2 cartridges frequently. It’s a snap; they just screw on and off. There are now many local stores where you can do the exchanges.  That’s one of the big controversies about the company.  Absolutely ruthless from what I’ve read in crushing anyone else who wants to refill the cylinders.  The $$$ is definitely in those refills, plus the soda flavorings I imagine.  Other than the (to me) iffy politics, my other lingering concern is the healthfulness of drinking large amounts of carbonated water, which is acidic. Just ordered some pH strips to test and experiment. I believe a pinch of salt should be sufficient to return it neutral pH. Not positive if it matters, but many smart people, including Ray Kurzweil, are very wary of consuming too much acidic water (and maybe food). Too much alkaline water, as some water filters make, probably not so good either, since we really want our stomachs to be very acidic when we eat, as Dr. David Brownstein for one has pointed out.  Everything is complicated, even water apparently, if you make the mistake of looking too closely :-).”



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