The Chick-fil-A Portfolio

The Chick-fil-A Portfolio

The Prelude:

Chick-fil-A is known for attentive service and tasty chicken. As it turns out, we can learn a lot about retirement from Chick-fil-A. John explains.

(Click the featured times below to jump forward in the episode)

The Bass Lines:

An Interesting Chick-fil-A Story.

  • [1:14]Truett Cathy is the founder of Chick-fil-A, and interestingly, his grandson, John White, owns two stores here in the Durham-Chapel Hill area. However, White didn’t start out working for the company. The family has a policy that all family members have to work somewhere else for two years before applying to join the company. The idea is that even family has to work to earn their own store just like anyone else would.

Another Interesting Chick-fil-A Story.

  • [3:28] – Back in the 80s, there was another company called Boston Chicken. You might know it as Boston Market. At the time, they had some lofty goals. They wanted to do a billion dollars in sales by the year 2000. Everyone at Chick-fil-A freaked out. Their rival was launching an ambitious sales campaign. How were they going to compete? All the angst came to a head in a board meeting as corporate executives were bickering over how to more rapidly expand. Truett Cathy started banging his fists on the table, and the meeting came to a screeching halt. This was rather out of character for Cathy as he was known as a mild-mannered and admirable leader. He yelled, “Gentlemen, I’m sick and tired of you talking about how we can get bigger. What we need to be talking about is how we can get better, and our customers will then demand we get bigger.” Of course, we know the end of this story. Chick-fil-A did a billion dollars in sales, and Boston Market eventually went bankrupt.

The Point Of These Stories.

  • [6:14] – At some point in your investing life, you need to stop asking yourself “What do I need to do to get bigger?” Instead, think, “What do I need to do to get better?” As you get close to retirement, you should care less about accumulating more and instead think about not losing what you have. Think about getting better. That could mean many things. Maybe you need to take the risk out of your portfolio. Perhaps you need more tax-efficient investments. Regardless, think about getting better, not bigger, as you approach retirement.

The Crescendo:

The Encore:

The host: John Stillman – ContactBook – Call: 919-391-3446