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Pony In Here Somewhere

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  Wednesday, 2 Oct 2013 | 1:52 PM ET

Gabelli: I’m investing in bourbon

Posted By: Cindy Perman
We look everywhere to invest: Gabelli
Mario Gabelli, The Gabelli Asset Fund CEO, is looking at bourbon plays around the world like Campari.

Warren Buffett said the markets are fully valued and that it's hard to find value right now.

Mario Gabelli said Wednesday on CNBC that he's found value in …bourbon!

"[W]e have a slogan: If you drink it, we follow it," Gabelli said on on CNBC's "Fast Money Halftime Report." "We are looking at bourbon plays around the world."

»Read more
  Wednesday, 23 Oct 2013 | 1:51 PM ET

Is the boss watching your every move?

CNBC's Tyler Mathisen, Dominic Chu, and Cindy Perman discuss how technology allows employers to monitor workers and if it has become an invasion of privacy. »Read more
  Wednesday, 2 Oct 2013 | 6:00 AM ET

Busting the model: Buy this book—or just the cover

Posted By: Cindy Perman
Photo: Laura Evans Photography

If you've ever heard about Jason HeadsetsDotCom (formerly Sadler), the guy who made six figures as a professional T-shirt wearer, and wondered how did he do it? Well, he's about to tell you.

HeadsetsDotCom is writing a book called "Creativity for Sale," where he'll share his and others' experiences to help other budding entrepreneurs learn how to make money doing something they love.

He hasn't written it yet, but that will happen just as soon as he sells every last piece of it—from advertisements on every page to the front cover, the back cover and the inside flaps.

»Read more
  Tuesday, 24 Sep 2013 | 4:31 PM ET

A bourbon lover's Holy Grail: The Bourbon Trail

Posted By: Cindy Perman
Image source: Cindy Perman | CNBC

California has its wine trails but what many people don't know is that Kentucky, where 95 percent of the world's bourbon is made, has a bourbon trail.

Louisville is the home of Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby, but the countryside outside of Louisville is dotted with rolling hills, horse farms, and more than a dozen distilleries, which invite visitors to come see how bourbon is made and do a tasting.

"There's a lot of good juice being made here," said Gary Lewis, a tour guide for Mint Julep Tours.


»Read more
  Tuesday, 24 Sep 2013 | 3:17 PM ET

Bourbon Country: Rolling hills & flaming barrels

Posted By: Cindy Perman

This is bourbon country

Image source: Cindy Perman | CNBC

Kentucky is horse country, home of the Kentucky Derby, but it's also bourbon country. This is where 95 percent of the world's bourbon is made.

Louisville is a uniquely cosmopolitan city, peppered with old world luxury, a hip urban vibe and a healthy dose of kitsch. Here, you can get some of the finest bourbon cocktails you'll ever drink and any bourbon-related product you could imagine, from bourbon coffee to bourbon shower gel! Churchill Downs is in Louisville. In the rolling hills of horse country outside of the city is the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.

This is where the bourbon distilleries are and many open their doors for tours. You can also tour the Brown-Forman cooperage, where they make the barrels for their bourbons.

Read more:
Kentucky: The Holy Grail for bourbon lovers
10 Things you didn't know about bourbon

You can do a public tour, where you hop on a bus and they'll pick the stops for you. Or, you can do a custom tour, where you get to choose the distilleries. Two things to know before planning a trip to the bourbon trail: 1) The distilleries can be anywhere from 8 to 74 miles apart and 2) bourbon isn't that kind of drink. So, you're not going to be able to hit five in a day. The best way to do the distilleries is one by one, but if you're from out of town and don't have that luxury, you'll get a max of three in a day—two distilleries where you'll do the full tour and tasting and one just for the tasting. No matter which ones you go to, leave time for the gift shop! Each has some unique bourbon offerings, from copper shot glasses at Woodford Reserve to turkey callers at Wild Turkey.

Prices vary depending on how many distilleries you want to do and how many people are in your group. The two main tour companies are Mint Julep Tours and R&R Limousine. Or, you can drive there yourself. Just be sure to drink responsibly.

They'll issue you a Kentucky Bourbon Trail passport upon your arrival, as well as an Urban Bourbon Trail passport, which will help jump-start your tour of all the fine bourbon offerings the city and countryside have to offer—some you may have been dying to try and some you didn't even know existed! Collect enough stamps in your passport, and they'll name you an official citizen of Bourbon Country!

There are only eight distilleries on the official Kentucky Bourbon Trail—Four Roses, Heaven Hill, Jim Beam, Maker's Mark, Town Branch, Wild Turkey, Woodford Reserve and Evan Williams—but there are other distilleries that do tours.

Here on the bourbon trail, you'll see everything from giant mash vats the size of swimming pools, to big copper stills, secret passageways of bourbon and the system used to transport the barrels around the distilleries—train-track like barrel runs. Oh, and did we mention the flaming barrels?

Click ahead for photos from the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.

—By CNBC's Cindy Perman. Follow her on Twitter @ponyblog
Posted 24 Sept. 2013.


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  Tuesday, 24 Sep 2013 | 4:32 PM ET

10 things you didn't know about Kentucky & bourbon

Posted By: Cindy Perman
Image source: Cindy Perman | CNBC

Kentucky is where 95 percent of the world's bourbon is made and when you embark on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, you'll learn a whole lot about bourbon— and the state of Kentucky along the way. Here are 10 things you probably didn't know about Kentucky and bourbon:

1.) All bourbon is whiskey is but not all whiskey is bourbon. The folks over at Jim Beam say, "Bourbon is kinda like whiskey's 'sweet spot' … because corn is a sweet grain. The more corn, the sweeter the whiskey. And to be called bourbon, it must be at least 51 percent corn. (Most distillers use 65 to 75 percent corn.)

2.) Bourbon, by law, must be aged in a brand-new, charred white oak barrel to be called straight bourbon whiskeythat means, a barrel can only be used once for bourbon. Where do they go after that? They get shipped to Mexico for aging tequila, Scotland for aging Scotch or elsewhere to store all kinds of things, including coffee, tobacco, beer and maple syrup. For the best infographic you'll see all day, check out Mutineer Magazine's, "The Secret Life of Bourbon Barrels."


»Read more
  Tuesday, 17 Sep 2013 | 6:00 AM ET

The most overrated jobs of 2013

Posted By: Cindy Perman

These jobs? Totally overrated!

Image source: Cavan Images | Iconica | Getty Images

TV and film characters like Don Draper from "Mad Men" and Gordon Gekko from "Wall Street" may have you thinking that their professions are enviably glitzy, but the truth is, they're not all that glamorous.

Job site CareerCast is out with its annual lists of the most overrated and most underrated jobs and with apologies to Messrs. Draper and Gekko, they're both overrated.

"It's all about perception. It's the perception that it's a great job," said Tony Lee, publisher of CareerCast. "Every one of these overrated jobs, people think of as, 'I've got huge autonomy. I'm in control of my day and I manage everything the way I want to manage it,'" Lee said.

"The reality is that either due to a poor hiring outlook, falling salary, rising stress or a number of other criteria, it's not as great as it appears," he said.

Stress, in particular, is among the biggest factors that land a job on the overrated list. You may think being a CEO is a glamorous world of corner offices and private jets, but in fact, it's a lot of stress. It's overrated.

Lee said these lists are among the most subjective that CareerCast puts together, compared to some of their other lists like the best and worst jobs. Still, the economy has played a huge role in jobs on both the overrated and underrated lists.

When it comes to the impact of the economy on overrated jobs, perhaps some of them lost perks like expensive client lunches, experienced a shift in the type of work they were getting, or have not yet seen their hiring outlook bounce back even though the economy is improving.

To come up with these lists, CareerCast takes a look at 200 jobs, using Labor Department and other statistics. On average, Lee said, hiring in those jobs are expected to increase by about 12 percent during this decade. What's particularly encouraging, he said, is that CareerCast has found more job openings for each one of the occupations on the list than in at least the last five years.

Click ahead to check out the 12 most overrated jobs of 2013.

By Cindy Perman
Posted 17 Sept. 2013

»Read more
  Tuesday, 17 Sep 2013 | 6:00 AM ET

Most underrated jobs of 2013

Posted By: Cindy Perman

These jobs get no respect!

Image Source: Andrew Rich | Vetta | Getty Images

You probably never heard a mother brag, "My son, the biologist!" but maybe she should.

Job site CareerCast is out with its annual list of the most overrated and most underrated jobs for 2013, and as it turns out, biologist is one of the most underrated.

"These are jobs that most people look at and think 'eh,' when in fact they typically have a strong hiring outlook, rising salary, a fair amount of autonomy and the people who have them tend to really like them," said Tony Lee, publisher of CareerCast.

Think: That guy with the pocket protector and calculator. You weren't nearly as dazzled by him as the stockbroker in the pin-striped suit. But he is totally in demand. Boom! Underrated.

This list is, for sure, more subjective than, for example, CareerCast's best and worst jobs. But the economic recovery has provided some objective criteria for the list, Lee said.

"As the economy slowly improves, that changes how various jobs end up getting ranked—their hiring outlook improves more than another and it might move up the list, or the average salary increased," Lee said.

The housing recovery has played a part for several jobs that have seen their hiring outlook improve as the housing market improves.

And, of course, there's that little factor called supply and demand—if there aren't a lot of applicants for a particular job, the salary goes up. Or, if you're starting to see a lot of turnover on your staff, which does happen as the economy and job market improve, what's the first thing bosses try to do to keep talented employees? Raise their salary. Combine that with a job that a lot of people say "eh" about and you've got one of the most underrated jobs.

To come up with these lists, CareerCast takes a look at 200 jobs, using Labor Department and other statistics. On average, Lee said, the hiring outlook for most jobs is about 12 percent, meaning hiring is expected to increase by that much through 2020. For some of these underrated jobs, it's as high as 30 or 40 percent. What's particularly encouraging, he said, is that CareerCast has found more job openings for each one of the jobs on the list than they've seen in at least the last five years.

Click ahead to check out the 12 most underrated jobs for 2013.



By Cindy Perman
Posted 17 Sept. 2013

»Read more
  Friday, 16 Aug 2013 | 7:00 AM ET

These kids today — It's all about 'ME ME ME!'

Posted By: Cindy Perman
Image Source | Zero Creatives | Getty Images

These kids today with their twits and their tweets, their ninth-place ribbons and their gimme gimme gimme! Lazy! Selfish! Back in my day …

Pinning the "me, me, me" label on Gen Y, millennials, or whatever you want to call them, has become so ubiquitous, Time magazine actually blasted it across their cover a few months ago: "The ME ME ME Generation."

But guess what? Twentysomethings aren't apologizing. They say it's a good thing.



»Read more
  Wednesday, 14 Aug 2013 | 9:59 AM ET

Housing recovery radar: The next 18 hot spots

Posted By: Cindy Perman
German | E+ | Getty Images

The housing recovery is starting to heat up—so much so in some areas, the "b" word—bubble—is starting to pop up.

"Nationwide, the housing market is not in a bubble. But there are probably some markets that are at risk for getting into bubble territory if they continue at the pace that they're going," said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac.

In a recent report from Realtor.com, the towns seeing the hottest recoveries, based on factors such as inventory, median list price, days on the market and search activity, were primarily on the West Coast, with six of the top 10 in California. Six months ago, eight of the top 10 were in Florida. So, is the recovery, like the settlement of the U.S., moving east to west?

»Read more

About Pony In Here Somewhere

  • The news can get a little heavy sometimes, with debt crises, vicious markets and crappy earnings reports. So, we dispatched our crack reporter, Cindy Perman, to find some levity amid all this seriousness. Why a Pony? To be clear, there were no ponies harmed in the making of this blog. The blog’s name, “There Must Be a Pony In Here Somewhere,” comes from an old joke, a favorite of Ronald Reagan’s, that essentially means, with a pile of you-know-what this big, there MUST be a pony — a bright side — in here somewhere!

Contact Pony In Here Somewhere

 

  • Cindy Perman is a writer at CNBC.com, covering jobs, real estate, retirement and personal finance.

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