Monday, July 18, 2016


Bill Gates delivers the Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture [Gates enters about 32 minutes into the video.] (LINK)

Bonds Aren’t as Wretched an Investment as They Seem - by Jason Zweig (LINK)

As Rates Sink, Housing Bubbles Rise (LINK)
Canada, Australia and Sweden are among central banks caught between supporting their economies and addressing financial threats
1992 Harvard Business Review interview with Softbank's Masayoshi Son [H/T Ben Thompson] (LINK)
One success measure was that I should fall in love with a particular business for the next 50 years at least. Very often, people get excited for the first few years, and then, after they see the reality, they get tired of the business. I wanted to choose one that I would feel more and more excited about as the years passed. 
Another factor was that the business should be unique. That was very important to me. I didn’t want anyone else doing exactly the same thing. A third was that within 10 years I wanted to be number one in that particular business, at least in Japan. And I wanted to pick a business where the business category itself would be growing for the next 30 to 50 years. I didn’t want to choose a sinking ship. 
I had all those measurements, about 25 in all, and 40 new ideas. I took a big sheet of paper, and I drew a matrix and put down scores and comments for each. Then I picked the best one, which turned out to be the personal computer software business. That was the start of Softbank.
The Questions That Matter. And the questions that don’t. [H/T @Magyer] (LINK)
Back when I was a junior equity analyst, I asked more than my fair share of questions that didn’t matter. I would dial in to a company’s quarterly conference call and enter the Q&A queue intent on asking the most detailed, nit-picky question I could. Something along the lines of: “I noticed your cash conversion cycle has slowed by a few days sequentially. Could you walk me through what that says about the current demand environment and whether you project any weakness going forward?” 
That looks and sounds like an intelligent question. But why did I ask it? The answer, to the extent there is one, would be immaterial to my analysis. A 10-year discounted cash flow model with a terminal growth rate — or any other model for that matter — is not sensitive to such a short-term input. 
Instead, I asked it to justify my presence on the call. I asked it to demonstrate publicly just how quickly and completely I had dissected the company’s financial filings. And I asked it to prove how hard I was working. I did not ask it expecting to glean an insight that would lead to a better investing outcome.
Book Review: Leadership Lessons from a UPS Driver by Ron Wallace (LINK)
Related book: Leadership Lessons from a UPS Driver: Delivering a Culture of We, Not Me
EconTalk: Ryan Holiday discusses his book Ego Is the Enemy (audio) (LINK)

Simply Complex: The Life and Times of Murray Gell-Mann (video) [H/T @mjmauboussin] (LINK)