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jerryking : contrarians   33

Michael Moritz, the tech investor backing books
March 1, 2019 | Financial Times | by Richard Waters.

Michael Moritz, the biggest individual investor in funds managed by Sequoia Capital, the blue-chip venture capital firm where he has worked since 1986. Forbes estimates his wealth at $3.4bn, but Moritz himself puts it “a bit higher”.

Some of that wealth was put to work this week when Crankstart, the charity he set up with his wife, Harriet Heyman, agreed to provide financial backing for the Booker Prize, one of the top awards for English language fiction, for the next five years......Moritz continues to court controversy, writing approvingly in the Financial Times of the relentless pace of Chinese tech start-ups, where workers put in so many hours they barely see their children. He contrasted them with “soul-sapping” debates about work/life balance in the US, calling them “concerns of a society that is coming unhinged”.

It is tempting to ascribe his success as an investor to tireless networking, luck and timing....entrepreneur Randy Adams tipped him off to Yahoo, which was creating one of the first web indices. That led him to Google. He took over leadership of Sequoia from Don Valentine — one of Silicon Valley’s first start-up investors — in the mid-1990s.

The firm then moved well beyond its venture capital roots, setting up arms to manage family endowments and handle public market investments. While he was at the helm, it became the most successful foreign start-up investor in China. “We understood that the world had changed and that Silicon Valley was not going to be the centre of the universe for the next 50 years,”....he still works full time making investments and sits on 10 corporate boards.

Through Crankstart, Sir Michael and his wife have made substantial gifts to education, including £75m in 2012 to fund scholarships for the poorest students at Oxford university, where he was an undergraduate. He said that the financial support his father had been given after fleeing Nazi Germany as a teenager was his motivation.....After funding some of the world’s most disruptive companies, it might seem perverse that Sir Michael is now backing something as traditional as a literary prize. But he says: “Like music and video, I think the future is brighter than the past.” Printed book sales are rising again, and audio books allow readers to consume them in new forms. “The novel is the underpinning of many forms of entertainment,” he says. “I don’t think anyone’s lost their appetite for good storytelling.”
books  charities  contrarians  Don_Valentine  fiction  Google  investors  Man_Booker  Michael_Moritz  Oxford  novels  philanthropy  prizes  Richard_Waters  Sequoia  sponsorships  venture_capital  vc  Yahoo 
march 2019 by jerryking
You must do these two difficult things to invest as patiently as the greats - The Globe and Mail
TOM BRADLEY
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Sunday, Jan. 15, 2017

Great investors have differences, but they share a number of key attributes.

They have an independent view. They feel no obligation to invest in something because others are doing it or because it’s a part of an index. Indeed, they prefer when a stock isn’t popular or heavily traded.

They buy when opportunities present themselves, not when the money is available. Cash doesn’t burn a hole in their pocket.

They buy assets that, in their reasoned opinion, will eventually be worth considerably more than they’re able to purchase them for. The key word being eventually. Their time frame is only slightly shorter than that.

They don’t get hung up on short-term events, although they do monitor them closely so they can take advantage of opportunities. Price movements and/or liquidity events may allow them to buy more or sell, and any new information can be used to update their valuation models.

You get the picture. Patient capital is focused on long-term value creation. It’s comfortable being out-of-sync with popular trends. And it doesn’t get distressed by market dislocations, it gets excited.

If working with a financial adviser, they have to understand and believe in the patient-capital approach. No prattling from them about quick stock or ETF flips. No recommendations of "hot" fund managers nor cold feet when short-term results are poor.

You want advisers and money managers who can live up to the traits listed above and, ideally, who are working in organizations that exemplify the same traits. You and your adviser have a better chance of being “patient capital” if the firm’s sales, marketing, product development and investment strategies are aligned.
Tom_Bradley  investors  long-term  strategic_patience  liquidity_events  personality_types/traits  dislocations  undervalued  opportunistic  unanimity  personal_finance  financial_advisors  contrarians  independent_viewpoints  financial_pornography  best_of 
january 2017 by jerryking
Thane Stenner: Here’s where the wealthy get their investment ‘edge’
Mar. 02, 2016 | The Globe and Mail | THANE STENNER.

They have clear investment goals: High-net-worth individuals are obsessive goal setters. They always know why they’re investing (beyond “to make money”). They reverse-engineer their return objectives to meet both long- and short-term goals.

They know when to delegate: High-net-worth investors are not “do-it-yourself” investors.

They think risk first: High-net-worth individuals are generally focused on wealth protection as much as wealth generation.

It’s business: In general, high-net-worth investors tend to be good at “segregating” their emotions from their investment decisions.

They keep the news in perspective: Most wealthy individuals are news junkies. Of course they listen to, digest, and consider a lot of financial news. But the focus of their attention is on long-term trends, not necessarily up-to-the-minute financial data. And they think very, very carefully before making any decision based on news.

They seize the opportunity in crisis: Most high-net-worth individuals are born contrarians.
high_net_worth  slight_edge  investing  investors  rules_of_the_game  Thane_Stenner  goal-setting  contrarians  reverse_engineering  wealth_protection  kairos  impact_investing  passions  passion_investing  calm  Carpe_diem  Michael_McDerment  thinking_deliberatively  thinking_backwards  work-back_schedules 
march 2016 by jerryking
If I was...setting out to be an entrepreneur - FT.com
January 15, 2014 | FT | By Daniel Isenberg.

“Worthless Impossible and Stupid: How Contrarian Entrepreneurs Create and Capture Extraordinary Value”.

...If I were setting out as an entrepreneur today, I would buy an existing company to scale up rather than build a start-up from scratch. I would make incremental tweaks of improvement rather than innovate, exercise cool judgment rather than hot passion and build my departure plan from day one...a lot of great businesses, such as PayPal [the online payments system] and Kaspersky [the internet security company] are carved out of, or combined from, existing assets, or are family businesses taken sky-high by the second or third generation...Rather than start a new company, I would buy a rusty old business to fix up and grow as fast as I could. I want a discarded company that is undervalued but can be dusted off, refurbished with vision and talent, and scaled up. I would be talking to venture capitalists....I know that proprietary technology is not a market maker by itself. Great marketing and management almost always trump big innovation.

Minnovation – small tweaks on existing products – is what moves the ball of economic growth forward. Neither Facebook nor Google, for example, were technology pioneers.

Big innovations are few and far between and are often the stuff of large companies with long patience and deep pockets....Next, I would drain my venture of passion and replace it with commitment, hard work and realistic and relentless self-assessment....start with a stark test of harsh neon lights, exposing every flaw and crack long before the market does so that I can fix them before the customers vote with their feet....plan one's passionless departure from the start, creating a platform to allow the talented people and partners I hire to outperform me very soon.
entrepreneur  entrepreneurship  rules_of_the_game  unglamorous  books  Daniel_Isenberg  advice  howto  passions  exits  lessons_learned  turnarounds  contrarians  scaling  minnovation  undervalued  under-performing  carveouts  family_business  proprietary  incrementalism  self-assessment  customer_risk  breakthroughs  large_companies  vision  refurbished  spin-offs  hard_work  dispassion  marketing  management  commitments  marginal_improvements  unsentimental  outperformance 
january 2014 by jerryking
Andy Kessler: Hedge Funders Are All a Little Nuts - WSJ.com
August 27, 2013 | WSJ | by ANDY KESSLER.

Hedge Funders Are All a Little Nuts
Sleepless nights, minds racing, working out both sides of all arguments, second guessing. Stay sane? No gain.

Carl Icahn bought $1.5 billion in Apple shares and tweeted, "We believe the company to be extremely undervalued. Spoke to Tim Cook today. More to come." This is known in the business as talking your book and, predictably, the stock popped to $500. (It's now $488.) Mr. Icahn apparently wants Apple to borrow $150 billion to finance more share buybacks, figuring the stock will go to $625. Maybe, but new products and earnings growth are the only long-term drivers of value, not an impatient investor with a few billion to throw around. Apple should ignore him.

When hedge-fund managers grab onto "sure things" rather than float, it's usually a sign they've lost their touch. Stay thirsty, my friends.

And what's an individual investor to do? Teach yourself how to think ahead of those who are scrambling for ideas. When everyone else is thinking short term, start thinking long term. Embrace ideas when everyone else hates them. Out-Costanza the hedgies.
Andy_Kessler  hedge_funds  contrarians  strategic_thinking  long-term  personal_finance  investors  Seinfeld 
september 2013 by jerryking
Why Big Data Is Not Truth - NYTimes.com
June 1, 2013, 8:00 am 25 Comments
Why Big Data Is Not Truth
By QUENTIN HARDY
massive_data_sets  data  contrarians  Quentin_Hardy 
june 2013 by jerryking
Tired of being dumb money? Here’s how to get smart fast
Mar. 29 2013 | The Globe and Mail | DAVID BERMAN.
First, ignore the herd. Retail investors get into trouble because they like to follow the market. They love stocks when they’re expensive and bull markets are in full swing, and loathe stocks when they’re cheap and the bear is growling. Do the opposite: As the saying goes, buy when there is blood in the streets.

Second, accept that you are not Mr. Buffett. Over-confident investors get themselves into trouble because they take on too much risk in the hope of scoring spectacular gains. Instead, diversify and aim for the unspectacular, perhaps with low-cost exchange-traded funds that track a basket of stocks.

Third, think long-term. Retail investors are prone to expect their investments to pay off in a big way immediately – and when they don’t, these investors switch tactics, often with dismal results.
investment_advice  personal_finance  contrarians  long-term  patience  Warren_Buffett  overconfidence  individual_initiative  smart_people  independent_viewpoints  bull_markets  ETFs  low-cost 
march 2013 by jerryking
David Isenberg Sees Smart Business Model In 'Stupid Network'
February 20, 1998 | Wall Street Journal p. B1 | by THOMAS PETZINGER JR.

Dr. Isenberg worshipped the émigré biologist Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, a Nobel laureate and friend of his family. "If you're going to fish," the old scientist told him, "use a big hook." . . .

Picture of
David Isenberg by Elliot Banfield
Used with permission of Elliot Banfield
AT&T  telecommunications  free  disruption  Thomas_Petzinger  Nobel_Prizes  contrarians  Bell_Labs  George_Gilder  business_models 
march 2013 by jerryking
Maybe corporate guys should mind their business
November 17, 2001 | G&M |Russell Smith

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/maybe-corporate-guys-should-mind-their-business/article1034666/

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1FOmbxn4lK9kAF2nPKH151NSwTik0aFKNGvxX8OSIY6k/edit

Business people should be way more humble and not act as know-it-alls when dealing with artists and academics.....A blind faith in the efficiency of commerce goes hand in hand with a faith in technology.
Russell_Smith  public_speaking  businessman_fallacy  platitudes  critical_thinking  hubris  skepticism  contrarians  speeches  artists  academics  sponsorships  humility 
march 2013 by jerryking
Big Data should inspire humility, not hype
Mar. 04 2013| The Globe and Mail |Konrad Yakabuski.

" mathematical models have their limits.

The Great Recession should have made that clear. The forecasters and risk managers who relied on supposedly foolproof algorithms all failed to see the crash coming. The historical economic data they fed into their computers did not go back far enough. Their models were not built to account for rare events. Yet, policy makers bought their rosy forecasts hook, line and sinker.

You might think that Nate Silver, the whiz-kid statistician who correctly predicted the winner of the 2012 U.S. presidential election in all 50 states, would be Big Data’s biggest apologist. Instead, he warns against putting our faith in the predictive power of machines.

“Our predictions may be more prone to failure in the era of Big Data,” The New York Times blogger writes in his recent book, The Signal and the Noise. “As there is an exponential increase in the amount of available information, there is likewise an exponential increase in the number of hypotheses to investigate … [But] most of the data is just noise, as most of the universe is filled with empty space.”

Perhaps the biggest risk we run in the era of Big Data is confusing correlation with causation – or rather, being duped by so-called “data scientists” who tell us one thing leads to another. The old admonition about “lies, damn lies and statistics” is more appropriate than ever."
massive_data_sets  data_driven  McKinsey  skepticism  contrarians  data_scientists  Konrad_Yakabuski  modelling  Nate_Silver  humility  risks  books  correlations  causality  algorithms  infoliteracy  noise  signals  hype 
march 2013 by jerryking
What Data Can’t Do - NYTimes.com
By DAVID BROOKS
Published: February 18, 2013

there are many things big data does poorly. Let’s note a few in rapid-fire fashion:

* Data struggles with the social. Your brain is pretty bad at math (quick, what’s the square root of 437), but it’s excellent at social cognition. People are really good at mirroring each other’s emotional states, at detecting uncooperative behavior and at assigning value to things through emotion.
* Data struggles with context. Human decisions are embedded in contexts. The human brain has evolved to account for this reality...Data analysis is pretty bad at narrative and emergent thinking.
* Data creates bigger haystacks. This is a point Nassim Taleb, the author of “Antifragile,” has made. As we acquire more data, we have the ability to find many, many more statistically significant correlations. Most of these correlations are spurious and deceive us when we’re trying to understand a situation.
* Big data has trouble with big (e.g. societal) problems.
* Data favors memes over masterpieces. Data analysis can detect when large numbers of people take an instant liking to some cultural product. But many important (and profitable) products are hated initially because they are unfamiliar. [The unfamiliar has to accomplish behavioural change / bridge cultural divides]
* Data obscures hidden/implicit value judgements. I recently saw an academic book with the excellent title, “ ‘Raw Data’ Is an Oxymoron.” One of the points was that data is never raw; it’s always structured according to somebody’s predispositions and values. The end result looks disinterested, but, in reality, there are value choices all the way through, from construction to interpretation.

This is not to argue that big data isn’t a great tool. It’s just that, like any tool, it’s good at some things and not at others. As the Yale professor Edward Tufte has said, “The world is much more interesting than any one discipline.”
massive_data_sets  David_Brooks  data_driven  decision_making  data  Nassim_Taleb  contrarians  skepticism  new_graduates  contextual  risks  social_cognition  self-deception  correlations  value_judgements  haystacks  narratives  memes  unfamiliarity  naivete  hidden  Edward_Tufte  emotions  antifragility  behavioral_change  new_products  cultural_products  masterpieces  EQ  emotional_intelligence 
february 2013 by jerryking
How to make money from mass hysteria
July 16, 2011 | The Globe & Mail | by AVNER MANDELMAN.

If you do want to take a flyer on a stock, wait for a public panic in something likely to survive, such as a blue-chip stock, or the world as a whole. Risk only a very small amount of your capital (1 or 2 per cent, maximum) and put a stop-loss order below the purchase price to limit your losses. Finally, set a target above the purchase price - and a time limit.

These two elements - price and time - are as important for a successful speculation as the right panic. Here's why:

Price For most investors, the maximum loss that your stop-loss order should allow should be 5 to 8 per cent, and the target price should be at least double this amount. (If you're buying a $10 stock, and your stop-loss order kicks in at $9.50, your target should be $11 or so.)

What this means is that if your purchase continues to sink, your loss is limited, but if the price rises, your gain will be limited too.

The iron rule here is: If either of these two prices are reached, you're out. No debate.

Over time, a 2:1 gain-to-loss ratio will make you money even if your calls are correct less than half the time.
panics  Avner_Mandelman  contrarians  howto  investing  manias  discipline  blue-chips 
october 2012 by jerryking
Is There Big Money in Big Data?
May 3, 2012 | Technology Review | By Lee Gomes.
Is There Big Money in Big Data?

Many entrepreneurs foresee vast profits in mining data from online activity and mobile devices. One Wharton business school professor strongly disagrees.
massive_data_sets  data  contrarians  skepticism  Wharton 
may 2012 by jerryking
Rolls-Royce Powers Ahead in High-Wage Countries - WSJ.com
OCTOBER 20, 2011| WSJ | By DANIEL MICHAELS. While many American and European manufacturers transplanted production to low-wage countries in Asia and Latin America in recent years, British industrial giant Rolls-Royce PLC has taken a contrarian course. It gravitates to high-wage hot spots.

The turbine producer has factories in England, the U.S. and Germany, where it recently bought into an engine maker for more than $2 billion.

...Preserving even a limited amount of high-end manufacturing in advanced economies can help stem a vicious cycle of industrial exodus that plagues parts of the U.S. and U.K. Each specialized marine or aerospace manufacturing job creates around three more jobs nearby at suppliers, maintenance operations and in services such as design or finance, according to studies.

Until the recent economic crisis, many advanced economies had looked to service industries, such as finance and information technology, as substitutes for vanishing manufacturing employment. But the spillover job creation from such services is "effectively trivial,"
exodus  manufacturers  United_Kingdom  China  intellectual_property  Singapore  shipbuilding  value_creation  engineering  high-wage  hotspots  spillover  Rolls-Royce  downward_spirals  developed_countries  contrarians 
october 2011 by jerryking
BlueCat Networks' Michael Hyatt swims against the tide - The Globe and Mail
May. 20, 2011 | Special to Globe and Mail Update | by DIANE
JERMYN. Where there’s mystery, there’s margin. If you build a product
that has enough mystery, there’s a lot of margin to it. And if you’ve
developed something in technology that solves big problems for big
companies, they’re going to give you big, big cheques.
BlueCat  Michael_Hyatt  entrepreneur  problem_solving  contrarians  problems  margins  large_companies 
may 2011 by jerryking
Op-Ed Columnist - The Goldman Drama - NYTimes.com
April 26, 2010 | NYT | By DAVID BROOKS. Between 1997 and
2006, consumers, lenders and builders created a housing bubble, and
pretty much the entire establishment (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, their
regulators, the big commercial banks and their regulators, The Fed.,
the ratings agencies, the SEC and the political class in general )
missed it....Outside the establishment herd, on the other hand, there
were contrarians who understood the bubble (which was the easy part) and
who figured out how to take counteraction (which was hard).... it would
be smart to decentralize authority in order to head off future bubbles.
Both Gregory Mankiw of Harvard and Sebastian Mallaby of the CFR have
been promoting a way to do this: Force the big financial institutions to
issue bonds that would be converted into equity when a regulator deems
them to have insufficient capital. Thousands of traders would buy and
sell these bonds as a way to measure and reinforce the stability of the
firms.
David_Brooks  Goldman_Sachs  contrarians  bubbles  regulators  capital_adequacy  bonds  equity 
april 2010 by jerryking
Goldman Sachs Rakes In Profit in Credit Crisis - NYTimes.com
November 19, 2007 | New York Times | By JENNY ANDERSON and
LANDON THOMAS Jr.
At that point, the holdings of Goldman’s mortgage desk were down
somewhat, but the notoriously nervous Mr. Viniar was worried about
bigger problems. After reviewing the full portfolio with other
executives, his message was clear: the bank should reduce its stockpile
of mortgages and mortgage-related securities and buy expensive insurance
as protection against further losses, a person briefed on the meeting
said.
Rarely on Wall Street, where money travels in herds, has one firm gotten
it so right when nearly everyone else was getting it so wrong.
With its mix of swagger and contrary thinking, it was just the kind of
bet that has long defined Goldman’s hard-nosed, go-it-alone style.
Goldman’s secret sauce, say executives, analysts and historians, is
high-octane business acumen, tempered with paranoia and institutionally
encouraged — though not always observed — humility.
====================================

Strategic nous - "practical intelligence/good judgement/shrewdness" = "high-octane business acumen"
Goldman_Sachs  Lloyd_Blankfein  proprietary  herd_instincts  contrarians  paranoia  humility  special_sauce  business_acumen  herd_behaviour  Wall_Street  stockpiles 
february 2010 by jerryking
How to Be a Smart Innovator - WSJ.com
SEPTEMBER 11, 2006 | Wall Street Journal | by Nicholas Carr,
who talks about the right way to be creative --and the wrong way. Mr.
Carr says, companies need to be prudent --even conservative --in where
and how much they encourage innovation. He reminds us that innovation
isn't free, that it's quite expensive and quite risky. Managers need to
bring the same kind of discipline to deciding where to innovate as they
would normally bring to any other kind of management question.
Innovation initiatives and innovation investments should be connected to
a firm's broader business strategy and its areas of competitive
advantage: mfg. processes or its supply chain or its products themselves
or branding and marketing areas. You don't need to always shoot for
home runs in innovation. Further, innovations can be useful if, instead
of causing disruptions, mend those disruptions or help regular customers
(late majority) adapt to new technologies or new innovations--bridging.
adaptability  breakthroughs  bridging  competitive_advantage  contrarians  Daniel_Pink  disruption  Freshbooks  howto  incrementalism  innovation  innovators  Nicholas_Carr  smart_people  strategy  taxonomy 
february 2010 by jerryking
The "Warning" Czar?
Oct. 17, 2009 | - Adam Smith, Esq.| by Bruce MacEwen. The US
has a "national intelligence official for warning", Kenneth Knight, who
oversees a staff of a half-dozen analysts whose job is to monitor the
rest of the intelligence community, challenging their analyses and
assumptions. The goal is to to avoid surprise. One of Knight's core
insights is the difference between what he calls the "simple
likelihood-of-the-event versus impact-of-the-event calculation." Knight
thinks you can systematize this type of analysis by being understand
and being beware of the cognitive biases of experts; by training; and by
creating an institutional check--a warning staff or Red Team. Beware
analytical frameworks--know their limitations.
Bruce_MacEwen  strategic_thinking  security_&_intelligence  systematic_approaches  contrarians  risk-management  counterintuitive  red_teams  anticipating  biases  surprises  warning_signs  devil’s_advocates  frequency_and_severity  intelligence_analysts 
october 2009 by jerryking
An avalanche of cash is set to slide
May 1, 2009 | The Globe & Mail | by THANE STENNER
HIGH-NET-WORTH INVESTORS
An avalanche of cash is set to slide
high_net_worth  contrarians  investment_advice  emotions  Thane_Stenner 
may 2009 by jerryking
Bungee-Jumping in New Economy - WSJ.com
APRIL 1, 2009, 6:32 P.M. ET| WSJ | by MARK PENN

Microtrends is all about looking for counterintuitive patterns. Winning
strategies are rarely if ever the strategies adopted by the pack -- but
that becomes clear only later.
contrarians  Mark_Penn  microtrends  counterintuitive 
april 2009 by jerryking
Is the best almost over?
Jun 30, 2006, The Globe and Mail (Index-only). Toronto, Ont.:
pg. 33 by Doug Steiner.

I've applied Michard and Bouchaud's theories in my own far-less-rigorous
studies of three recent market trends: the spread of monster homes, the
huge run-up in commodity prices and the frenzy over the Tim Hortons
share issue last March.
....So, based on all the studies, I have some thoughts on how to get in and out of the market: Buy only quality stocks that aren't the subject of mass opinion-in other words, out-of-favour stocks. Avoid comparative evaluations of hot stocks, like saying RIM or Apple isn't all that overvalued relative to its peers. Finally, to make big money, you have to sell when everyone is talking about your investments. Or, as at a concert, clap along with others for a while, then dash for the doors.
contrarians  Doug_Steiner  markets  market_timing  social_theory  trends 
march 2009 by jerryking

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