Articles

Below is a selection of content that we found thought provoking.

If—

If—

by Rudyard Kipling (‘Brother Square-Toes’—Rewards and Fairies) If you can keep your head when all about youAre losing theirs and blaming it on you,If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,But make allowance for their doubting too;If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise: If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;If you can think—and not make thoughts...

How to Do What You Love

How to Do What You Love

January 2006 To do something well you have to like it. That idea is not exactly novel. We've got it down to four words: "Do what you love." But it's not enough just to tell people that. Doing what you love is complicated. The very idea is foreign to what most of us learn as kids. When I was a kid, it seemed as if work and fun were opposites by definition. Life had two states: some of the time adults were making you do things, and that was called work; the rest of the time you could do what you...

“There Are No Shortcuts!”: QUITTERS, CAMPERS, & CLIMBERS

“There Are No Shortcuts!”: QUITTERS, CAMPERS, & CLIMBERS

Three individuals were standing at the base of a steep hill. Having just traveled a great distance, all three were extremely tired, but knew that they must ascend the hill if they were to reach their goal destination. The first individual looked up the steep embankment and remarked, “That’s a pretty steep hill we have to climb. I don’t know if I can make it. Besides, my back hurts, my knees hurt, my whole body hurts! Also, I’ve tried climbing hills like that before, and I never made it to the...

Advice From Life’s Graying Edge on Finishing With No Regrets

Advice From Life’s Graying Edge on Finishing With No Regrets

By JANE E. BRODY At 17, I wrote a speech titled, “When You Come to the End of Your Days, Will You Be Able to Write Your Own Epitaph?” It reflected the approach to life I adopted after my mother’s untimely death from cancer at age 49. I chose to live each day as if it could be my last — but with a watchful eye on the future in case it wasn’t. My goal was, and still is, to die without regrets. For more than 50 years, this course has served me well, including my decision to become a science...

How Will You Measure Your Life?

How Will You Measure Your Life?

Written by Clayton M. Christensen Before I published The Innovator’s Dilemma, I got a call from Andrew Grove, then the chairman of Intel. He had read one of my early papers about disruptive technology, and he asked if I could talk to his direct reports and explain my research and what it implied for Intel. Excited, I flew to Silicon Valley and showed up at the appointed time, only to have Grove say, “Look, stuff has happened. We have only 10 minutes for you. Tell us what your model of...

It’s Time To Build

It’s Time To Build

Written by Marc Andreessen Every Western institution was unprepared for the coronavirus pandemic, despite many prior warnings. This monumental failure of institutional effectiveness will reverberate for the rest of the decade, but it’s not too early to ask why, and what we need to do about it. Many of us would like to pin the cause on one political party or another, on one government or another. But the harsh reality is that it all failed — no Western country, or state, or city was prepared —...

Running A Successful Company: Ten Rules That Worked for Me

Running A Successful Company: Ten Rules That Worked for Me

Running A Successful Company: Ten Rules That Worked for MeFrom Sam Walton, Made in America, June 1992 This isn’t the first time that I’ve been asked to come up with a list of rules for success, but it is the first time I’ve actually sat down and done it. I’m glad I did because its been a revealing exercise for me. The truth is…I do seem to have a couple of dozen things that I’ve singled out at one time or another as the “key to the whole thing.” One I don’t even have on my list is “work hard.”...

Imagining a World Without Growth

Imagining a World Without Growth

Written by Eduardo Porter, The New York Times Could the world order survive without growing? It’s hard to imagine now, but humanity made do with little or no economic growth for thousands of years. In Byzantium and Egypt, income per capita at the end of the first millennium was lower than at the dawn of the Christian Era. Much of Europe experienced no growth at all in the 500 years that preceded the Industrial Revolution. In India, real incomes per person shrank continuously from the early...

Stay in the Game

Stay in the Game

Written by Drew Dickson, Albert Bridge Capital This is going to be an uncharacteristic departure for me. This story is deeply personal, for our family, and for our oldest son in particular. But it is a story he’s letting me tell, because it is a story he wants people to hear. My son Max was born in Detroit in 1997, he spent the next summer in Hong Kong when I was interning at Fidelity Investments, and moved to London before he was two when I accepted an offer to work for Fido there full-time....

The University of Georgia’s Corsair Society

The University of Georgia’s Corsair Society

Written by Lori Johnston (ABJ '95 UGA) and Jeremy Bales (AB, ABJ '01 UGA) and published in the December 2014 issue of GEORGIA MAGAZINE The Statue of Liberty looms in the distance through the floor-to-ceiling windows on the 27th floor of Citi’s Greenwich Street offices in the Tribeca neighborhood of Lower Manhattan. Bethany McCain (AB, AB ’13), surrounded by fellow University of Georgia alumni, takes a final few moments to savor the view of the Hudson River before she and the others head off to...

Perspective on US Fiscal Position

Perspective on US Fiscal Position

Written by James Grant, Grant’s Interest Rate Observer America’s deteriorating public credit is the cold-button issue of the 2018 midterms. With rare bipartisanship, Democrats and Republicans compete to pretend that the country isn’t going broke. In 1992, the third-party presidential candidate Ross Perot likened the widening gap between federal receipts and federal spending to “the crazy aunt tucked away in the room upstairs nobody talks about.” The old gal’s dottier than ever. It took the...

Lewis Grizzard: Great moments in a would-be father’s life

Lewis Grizzard: Great moments in a would-be father’s life

To my son, if I ever have one: Kid, I am writing this on Sept. 3, 1984. I have just returned from Athens, where I spent Saturday watching the University of Georgia, your old dad’s alma mater, play football against Clemson. While the events of the day were still fresh on my mind, I wanted to recount them so if you are ever born, you can read this and perhaps be able to share one of the great moments in your father’s life. Saturday was a wonderful day on the Georgia campus. We are talking blue,...

Winning the Battle In Space by Dr. Michael Griffin

Winning the Battle In Space by Dr. Michael Griffin

Written by Michael Griffin In April 2011, an Ariane 5 rocket hurled the “New Dawn” communications satellite into geostationary Earth orbit some 36,000 kilometers above the Earth. The $250 million satellite successfully released a set of pins that had held its primary antenna in a folded configuration during launch; however, the antenna did not unfold. Hobbled and well beyond the reach of any repair mission — geostationary orbit, or GEO, is thousands of kilometers higher than the Hubble and...

Memos from Howard Marks of Oaktree Capital

Memos from Howard Marks of Oaktree Capital

Since 1990, Oaktree Capital's Howard Marks has been routinely publishing memos to memorialize lessons he has learned, insights he has had, and effects of current events on the markets. His memos provide unique clarity into the world around us as it relates to financial markets and the investments we make. Click this link below to view his memos archive: https://www.oaktreecapital.com/insights/howard-marks-memos

On Effective Boards of Directors: Perspective from Mark Leonard of Constellation Software

On Effective Boards of Directors: Perspective from Mark Leonard of Constellation Software

Our current policy is to invest all of our retained investor’s capital (and then some) when we think we can achieve our targeted hurdle rates. When we can’t find enough attractive investments, we plan to maintain our hurdle rates and build cash for as long as our shareholders and board will allow. We believe that long-term shareholders and boards should set those policies, which segues nicely into discussing shareholder democracy and the role of boards. Almost half of our shares trade each...

Berkshire Hathaway Shareholder Letters: 1977 to 2017

Berkshire Hathaway Shareholder Letters: 1977 to 2017

Since 1977, Berkshire Hathaway has been delivering exceptional returns for shareholders, through the continued execution of a logical, rules-driven value investment strategy. Their annual shareholders are regarded as candid and insightful glimpses into how the company sees the world and in turn makes investments. Click this link below to view their shareholder letter archives: http://www.berkshirehathaway.com/letters/letters.html

The Five Experiments: Perspective from Fernando del Pino

The Five Experiments: Perspective from Fernando del Pino

By Fernando del PinoDecember 2015 When I was kindly invited by our founder to make a presentation in our first meeting, I thought it would be interesting to bring out some global views on what I believe is a multi- generational decline of the Western civilization rather than talking about the very interesting but narrower field of investment. I must start with two disclaimers: the first is that I am not a historian, so I do not pretend all my data to be utterly accurate or exhaustive (although...

Remembering A Hero: Welles Crowther

Remembering A Hero: Welles Crowther

Written by Peggy Noonan What do I think about when I think about that day? The firemen who climbed “the stairway to Heaven” with 50, 60 pounds of gear. The people who called from Windows on the World and said: “I just want you to know I love you.” The men on the plane who tried to take the cockpit of Flight 93 before it went down in a Pennsylvania field: “Let’s roll.” And I think about Welles Crowther, the man in the red bandanna. He was 24, from Nyack, N.Y. He played lacrosse at Boston...

Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation: Perspective by Jean Twenge

Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation: Perspective by Jean Twenge

Written by Jean M. TwengeOne day last summer, around noon, I called Athena, a 13-year-old who lives in Houston, Texas. She answered her phone—she’s had an iPhone since she was 11—sounding as if she’d just woken up. We chatted about her favorite songs and TV shows, and I asked her what she likes to do with her friends. “We go to the mall,” she said. “Do your parents drop you off?,” I asked, recalling my own middle-school days, in the 1980s, when I’d enjoy a few parent-free hours shopping with...

Abraham Lincoln: Perspective from Leo Tolstoy published in The World on 7 February 1909

Abraham Lincoln: Perspective from Leo Tolstoy published in The World on 7 February 1909

TOLSTOI HOLDS LINCOLN WORLD’S GREATEST HERO. Bigger Than His Country. Bigger Than All the Presidents Together: a Christ in Miniature. STILL TOO NEAR TO APPRECIATE HIS POWER. Great Russian Tells of Reverence For Lincoln Even Among Barbarians. Of all the great national heroes and statesman of history, Lincoln is the only real giant. Alexander, Fredric the Great, Caesar, Napoleon, Gladstone and even Washington stand in greatness of character, in depth of feeling and in a certain moral power far...

Is Blockchain a Good Vision for the Future? Perspective from Kai Stutchcombe

Is Blockchain a Good Vision for the Future? Perspective from Kai Stutchcombe

Blockchain is not only crappy technology but a bad vision for the future. Its failure to achieve adoption to date is because systems built on trust, norms, and institutions inherently function better than the type of no-need-for-trusted-parties systems blockchain envisions. That’s permanent: no matter how much blockchain improves it is still headed in the wrong direction. This December I wrote a widely-circulated article on the inapplicability of blockchain to any actual problem. People...

A Father’s Lesson: Keep the Spirit Level by Daniel Foster

A Father’s Lesson: Keep the Spirit Level by Daniel Foster

For decades my carpenter father, who died in 2009, always carried a small wood level in his pocket. He would fish it out and place it on the nearest horizontal surface: shelves, mantels, stairs—even sidewalks. At the neighbor’s, when he thought no one was looking, he would sneak it out and go to work. Is it the joists, the beams? I sensed him calibrating as he watched the yellow bubble careen and render an often skewed verdict. Maybe it’s the entire foundation. He was obsessed with balance,...

The Blindness of Social Wealth by David Brooks

The Blindness of Social Wealth by David Brooks

Bob Hall was a rancher. In 1936, in the midst of the Depression, he was suffering from a cancer that was eating the flesh on the side of his face. His ranch had dwindled to nearly nothing, and weeks after bankers took the last of his livestock, Hall died, leaving his family deeply in debt. His sons pleaded with anybody they could find to make a loan and save the family ranch. No one would do it. Finally, in desperation, they went to their neighbor, Buzz Newton, who was known for his...

How to Succeed In Business? Do Less by Morten Hansen

How to Succeed In Business? Do Less by Morten Hansen

By Morten T. Hansen Most Americans work impossibly hard. We put in long hours and maximum effort, but better performance often eludes us. I’m no exception. I remember being in my 20s and landing my dream job as a management consultant at the posh London office of the U.S.-based Boston Consulting Group. I strode through the front doors on my first day wearing an elegant new blue suit and equipped with what I thought was a brilliant strategy for impressing my bosses: I would work crazy hours....

The Secrets to Wealth in America by Warren Buffett

The Secrets to Wealth in America by Warren Buffett

By Warren Buffett I have good news. First, most American children are going to live far better than their parents did. Second, large gains in the living standards of Americans will continue for many generations to come. Some years back, people generally agreed with my optimism. Today, however, pollsters find that most Americans are pessimistic about their children’s future. Politicians, business leaders and the press constantly tell us that our economic machine is sputtering. Their evidence:...

Greg Kaplan’s Note to Son Zach Upon Starting a Summer Internship

Greg Kaplan’s Note to Son Zach Upon Starting a Summer Internship

My 19 year old son Zach just finished his first summer internship. Back in May, a few days before he started his internship, I sent him this email... Zach, as you begin your first serious internship, I wanted to share some advice. When I started my first job, I wish someone would have sat me down and explained to me how to be successful in a workplace and what people expected of me. While home and college were great preparation for learning and rigorous thinking, they were not good preparation...

Byron Wien Discusses Lessons Learned in His First 80 Years

Byron Wien Discusses Lessons Learned in His First 80 Years

I was scheduled to speak about the world outlook at an investment conference recently and shortly before my time slot the conference organizer said the audience was more interested in what I had learned over the course of my career than what I had to say about the market.  I jotted a few notes down and later expanded and edited what I said that day. I have since been encouraged to share my thoughts with a broader audience. Here are some of the lessons I have learned in my first 80 years. I...

Demographic Insights by Professor Stephen Mihm (University of Georgia)

Demographic Insights by Professor Stephen Mihm (University of Georgia)

Written by Stephen Mihm Shortly before Christmas, the U.S. Census Bureau put some coal in the nation’s holiday stocking. It released data highlighting a worrisome trend: The population grew a subdued 0.7 percent, the lowest rate of growth since the Great Depression years of 1936 and 1937. Declines in the birthrate and the slowing pace of immigration are to blame. Ask an economist why this matters, and you’ll get a welter of contradictory answers, as the relationship between population growth...

Courage Under Fire By Admiral James Stockdale

Courage Under Fire By Admiral James Stockdale

Testing Epictetus's Doctrines in a Laboratory of Human BehaviorJames Bond Stockdale I came to the philosophic life as a thirty-eight-year-old naval pilot in grad school at Stanford University. I had been in the navy for twenty years and scarcely ever out of a cockpit. In 1962, I began my second year of studying international relations so I could become a strategic planner in the Pentagon. But my heart wasn’t in it. I had yet to be inspired at Stanford and saw myself as just processing tedious...

China Bets on Sensitive U.S. Start-Ups, Worrying the Pentagon

China Bets on Sensitive U.S. Start-Ups, Worrying the Pentagon

By Paul Mozur and Jane Perlez    March 22, 2017 HONG KONG — When the United States Air Force wanted help making military robots more perceptive, it turned to a Boston-based artificial intelligence start-up called Neurala. But when Neurala needed money, it got little response from the American military. So Neurala turned to China, landing an undisclosed sum from an investment firm backed by a state-run Chinese company. Chinese firms have become significant investors in American start-ups...

Courage Under Fire By Peggy Noonan

Courage Under Fire By Peggy Noonan

Forgive me. I’m going to return to a story that has been well documented the past few weeks, and I ask your indulgence. So much has been happening, there are so many things to say, and yet my mind will not leave one thing: the firemen, and what they did. Although their heroism has been widely celebrated, I don’t think we have quite gotten its meaning, or fully apprehended its dimensions. But what they did that day, on Sept. 11—what the firemen who took those stairs and entered those buildings...

A History of Global Living Conditions in 5 Charts

A History of Global Living Conditions in 5 Charts

A recent survey asked “All things considered, do you think the world is getting better or worse, or neither getting better nor worse?”. In Sweden 10% thought things are getting better, in the US they were only 6%, and in Germany only 4%. Very few people think that the world is getting better. What is the evidence that we need to consider when answering this question? The question is about how the world has changed and so we must take a historical perspective. And the question is about the...

Bud Day Obituary – What A Hero Looks Like

Bud Day Obituary – What A Hero Looks Like

Bud Day was perhaps the bravest of the brave at the Hanoi Hilton. After serving as a U.S. Marine in World War II, a normal man might have concluded that he had done more than his share of military service. And anyone still alive after his parachute failed to open upon ejection from an Air Force jet in the 1950s would consider calling it a military career. But Col. George E. "Bud" Day, who died Saturday at age 88, kept putting himself in harm's way. And that is why, at age 41, he was flying low...