The Phaserl


Don’t Forget to Get Rich

from The Sovereign Investor:

Back in my days as a finance reporter, we had a big cork bulletin board that dominated one wall of the newsroom. We used it for posting only the most important information.

Usually, that meant our March Madness bracket picks and an outdated lunch menu for the Chinese restaurant down the street.

But my personal favorite pinned to that bulletin board was a Roy Lichtenstein-style cartoon of a well-dressed man slapping his forehead, with the bubble caption: “Oh no! I forgot to get rich!”

I say all this now because there’s just such an opportunity in front of us to do just that, right now. And of all companies, Exxon Mobil Corp. is showing us the way.

Early this month, Exxon Mobil sold $12 billion worth of bonds — its largest bond offering ever.

Why is that important to us? Because the company wants to use the money to go “elephant hunting” in the oil patch and buy up some of its bargain-priced competitors.

Keep in mind, the oil industry attracts plenty of swashbuckling bottom-calling behavior. Sometimes those calls work out (think billionaire T. Boone Pickens), and sometimes they don’t (think John Connally, the former Texas governor and Nixon-era Treasury secretary who bet everything on a 1980s rebound in oil prices and lost it all).

But when a big, global energy company like Exxon, with a corporate history reaching back more than a century, decides it’s time to “lever up,” it’s time to come out of the bunker and look for buying opportunities ourselves.

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