Marcel Mitchell

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Art & Science of Value Investing: Invest Like Billionaire Warren Buffett
Art & Science of Value Investing: Invest Like Billionaire Warren Buffett
My review...by Robert W. Johns.

I purchased this on kindle and it arrived on my device without any problem...

This book was fun and informative. I bought this to see how Mr Thompson thinks, as the
are few books available which are actually written by individuals working in Value investment
based money management, running other peoples money as such.

I have been a value investor for five years full time and was looking for something to fill some gaps
and as a reference point. This book simply delivers, the section on discounted cash flows would be
invaluable to someone just starting out in qualitative analysis and understanding future business cash flows.

Scott writes with a relaxed and honest candor, never becoming pretentious or overbearing. It is evident he
has a genuine passion for Value investing and this shows in the highly complementary description he gives
of famous Value investors.

These kind of things are what got me into this industry, the is a considerable amount of kindness, honesty
and integrity found in the famous past, present professional practitioners of this investment approach. No doubt
many other such individuals will be the same in the future. There's a good introduction to Scott's influences and sets
a nice theme for the book.

Sometimes even those with an excellent memory can benefit from reading what they may have forgotten in time and
this book is one of those great reference guides to keep you mind sharp. The author has an MBA and in many countries
it can be difficult to hold a relevant MBA and be a value investor just down to the practicality's of it all. Therefore his line
of thinking has been of a benefit to me.

All in all i definitely picked up a few golden nuggets throughout the text and some insights making the purchase worth while.
Most of the big ideas are well represented here and beginners would do well to read this book before the classics to get
a good framework for how the goal posts have changed with market efficiency.

This reviewer would be happy to see this text in a university coarse. Although
such a coarse would undoubtedly require more material. Value investing cant be taught in a
day but you can get the bug that fast!.

I had heard of Philip L. Carret, but not in detail. There is a section with a transcript on his personality and style. This was
the highlight of the book for me as he had an incredible money management record and i am interesting in learning more.

So i have withheld one star as customary for me. I only give 5 stars to a few people and those people are Ben Graham
, Charlie Munger and of coarse Warren Buffett. My only criticism is that the book contains many quotes. Who actually originally
said some of these things first i believe may have been in some instances lost to the hands of time. I may well be wrong
and this is simply nitpicking.

Robert W. Johns
The Innovator's Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail
The Innovator's Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail
The subject of this classic is disruptive technology.

With the help of many examples from industry (disk-drives being his main workhorse) the author explains what technologies are likely to disrupt, who is likely to be disrupted, why they are likely to be disrupted and what the choices are that the established players have when presented with disruption.

The most important point is that disruption generally comes from the practice of repackaging and marketing already existing, straightforward technology at a lower price point to a new customer base that is not economically viable for the established players.

For example, QuickBooks was marketed to mom-and-pop stores who could not afford to pay an accountant and it was the el-cheapo version of Quicken. It is of no use to a proper corporation. JC Bamford got started with hydraulic backhoes that were good enough for small contractors looking to dig a small ditch but wholly inadequate for the purposes of a miner. 5.25 inch disk drives were marketed to the nascent market for personal computers and were of no use to minicomputer manufacturers.

Disruptive technology is cheaper per unit, but its price / performance ratio is much worse than that of the established technology. It’s not good enough for the clients of the established players. Ergo it must be sold on its (lower) price alone, meaning that its purveyors must seek new markets. Flash memory, for example, was first used in cameras, pacemakers etc. Not in computers!

There is a large number of reasons that established players will frown upon the new technology:

1. Good companies listen to their clients. Their clients will tell them they don’t want it. They will demand performance and they will pay for performance.

2. Profitability will be lower in the lower-margin disruptive technology. Profit margins will typically mirror cost structures and will thus be higher for the higher-end product. Established players will in the short term make more money if they allocate their resources toward not falling behind their immediate competition for the higher-end product. (i.e. “sustaining” their competitive edge in the higher margin / higher tech market)

3. The processes used by the established players to sell and support the established technology may not be the right ones for the new tech.

The main thing to realize is that the technology does not live by itself. It is embedded in a “value network.” A car serves a commuter, a digger serves a mine, a disk drive is screwed down somewhere in a computer etc.

The seeds of disruption lie in the fact that the technology itself and its value network may not necessarily be progressing at the same speed.

If the technology is improving much faster than the trajectory of improvement of the “value network” (for example, if the desktop PC users demand extra disk storage slower than the industry is capable of delivering extra disk storage), then

1. The point comes when the value network of the established technology does not need the incremental improvements on which the established players are competing with one another to deliver.

2. More importantly, a point comes when the performance of the disruptive technology becomes good enough to be embedded in the value network of the established technology. So 3.5 inch disks developed for laptops can do good enough a job for a desktop, for example, without taking up the space required for a 5.25 inch disk.

It gets worse: sure, disruptive technology is deficient in terms of features / performance, but the price sensitive customers who do not care so much about performance often care a lot about reliability. (A small contractor who buys a single backhoe digger cannot afford a maintenance team.) Similarly, the unsophisticated customers of the disruptive technology may care a lot about ease of use. (Mom and pop using Quickbooks have no idea what double-entry book-keeping is!) What this means is that when the performance of the disruptive technology has become good enough for it to be embedded into the value network of the established technology, it often brings with it an advantage in reliability and ease of use.

So at that point the disruptive technology is cheaper, more reliable and easier to use than the established technology, all while delivering adequate performance.

And that’s how purveyors of the established technology (who have been at war with one another to deliver on the ever-increasing performance their customers have been demanding) find themselves at a disadvantage versus the disruptors when it comes to reliability and ease of use right about when their customers tell them they won’t pay for extra performance or features any more.

The disadvantage of the lower-tech disruptor has created an advantage and it’s game, set and match!

What’s an established player to do? If I’m running a super successful company and I spot a new technology what am I to do?

One thing I should not do is listen to my underlings. The dealers who sell my cars will not want a customer who just walked into the dealership to buy a V8 to drive out in a small electric car. The salespeople will keep asking me for the most expensive product because they will be paid a commission on their margin and will keep pushing me “north-east” on the price / performance chart. Resistance to disruptive technology often comes from the rank-and-file.

I also should not listen to my shareholders. Small markets (and all disruptive technology starts small) do not solve the growth problems of large companies.

First and foremost, I must understand that the challenge I face is a MARKETING challenge. The tech I’ve got covered. The resources too.

If my company’s processes and my company’s values (defined as “the standards by which employees make choices involving prioritization”) are aligned with the marketing challenge, I’m in luck: chances are that for my company this new technology will eventually become a “sustaining” technology.

I can get my wallet out and buy EARLY a couple of the new entrants. Early enough that my money is not buying process or values or culture, but merely assets/resources and ideally walking and talking resources (the founders) who will adopt the processes and values of my organization.

Alternatively, I can carve out some great people from my organization and:
1. Give them responsibility for the new technology and assign to them the task of identifying the customers for this new technology
2. Match the size of this new subdivision to the current size of the market.
3. Allow them to “discover” the size of the opportunity, rather than burden them with having to forecast it: “the ultimate uses or applications for disruptive technologies are unknowable in advance”
4. Let them fail small, as many times as necessary
That’s what IBM did when they ran their PC business out of Florida and what HP did when they realized ink jets would one day compete with laser printers!

If, on the other hand, my company’s processes or my company’s values are not aligned with the marketing challenge, then I need to buy a leader in the new technology, and have a finger in every pie. And I need to protect my acquired company from my organization. This is, obviously, a bigger challenge (and one my shareholders may not embrace, as their dollars are as good as mine, but the author stays away from this discussion!) As the succession in technologies plays out, I will then eliminate large parts of my current organization. The author cites an occasion on which this is exactly how things played out.

And there you have it! I think that’s the author’s answer to “The Innovator’s Dilemma”

Obviously, that’s a very quick sketch. You’ll have to buy the book to see the complete story (and to be convinced, I suppose). Be warned that in the interest of keeping the various chapters self-consistent you may find some repetition, but overall this is a very quick read.

I’m aware of people who really dislike Clayton Christensen. I’ve even come across a Twitter account that’s dedicated to trashing him. But I, for one, was convinced that he’s describing a valid concept with many applications.

Also, as a guy who established a disruptive business within an established player I totally experienced both the dismay of my superiors when they realized that “small markets don’t solve the problems of large organizations” and the discomfort of trying to shoehorn my project into the rather baroque established processes.

So I have lived through many of the steps the book describes and I reckon they are described very accurately. The research shows!
Wie Elon Musk die Welt verändert - Die Biografie
Wie Elon Musk die Welt verändert - Die Biografie
Eines der wenigen Bücher, bei denen ich ab der Hälfte auf die Bremse treten musste. Zum einen weil ich sonst zu wenig Schlaf bekommen hätte, zum anderen weil ich nicht wusste, was ich danach machen sollte. Die Geschichte Elon Musks hat mich so fasziniert, dass ich mich noch weiter damit beschäftigen muss. Elon Musk ist zweifelsohne ein Mann, der in die Geschichtsbücher einziehen wird. Gleichbedeutend wie Männer vom Schlag eines James Watt, Henry Ford, Wernher von Braun, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates und Nikola Tesla (nicht nur weil der auch noch der Namenspatron von Tesla Motors geworden ist). Niemand von denen hat etwas grundlegendes erfunden aber jeder von denen hat bestehende Konzepte revolutionär weiterentwickelt und die Welt zu dem gemacht, was sie heute ist. Die Art und Weise wie Elon Musk seine visionären Ziele verfolgt, sich von Rückschlägen nicht zurückwerfen lässt, von Anfang an und mehrfach sein gesamtes Vermögen aufs Spiel gesetzt hat, ist schon wirklich sehr beeindruckend. Der Autor scheint es nach anfänglichen Schwierigkeiten verstanden zu haben, dass Vertrauen Elon Musks zu gewinnen und ihn an die Spitze einer ganzen Reihe von Namen zu setzen, die ihrerseits maßgeblich an der Erfolgsstory Elon Musks beteiligt gewesen sind. Einige davon nicht ganz freiwillig und auch so manche, die ausgebrannt auf der Strecke geblieben sind aber auch und vor allem viele, die heute noch für die Visionen Elon Musks brennen. Eine meiner wenigen 5*-Bewertungen...
HeroDecks Trump Presidential Playing Cards
HeroDecks Trump Presidential Playing Cards
There are several different decks of Donald Trump cards. At first, I bought a different deck of Trump cards, but that one only had limited photos of Trump himself.
I really like this deck of Trump cards a lot better because nearly every card has a different photo of many different players who participated in the 2016 presidential election, like Ted Cruz and Hillary as the joker, along with some humorous remarks. In fact, I liked this deck of cards so much that I ordered 3 more decks to use as Christmas gifts because I know some family members will really enjoy them. Of course, I am keeping at least one deck for my own collection of Trump memorabilia.
The Soulful Divas: Personal Portraits of over a dozen divine divas from Nina Simone, Aretha Franklin, & Diana Ross, to Patti LaBelle, Whitney Houston, & Janet Jackson
The Soulful Divas: Personal Portraits of over a dozen divine divas from Nina Simone, Aretha Franklin, & Diana Ross, to Patti LaBelle, Whitney Houston, & Janet Jackson
With Soulful Divas, David Nathan - a true lover of r&B music - has compiled interviews with many of his favorite singers of the past 40 years. Some of the subjects, like that of the humorously raunchy Millie Jackson and the troubled Nina Simone, make for compelling reading. Most suffer from his endless fawning however. Take, for instance, Diana Ross. By all other accounts, Miss Ross is a difficult person, yet Nathan makes her out to be practically a saint.
Nathan's frequent access to all of the top divas exposes the modern journalist's dilemma: if he fully captures his subjects in print, warts and all, he risks alienating them and being denied interview access to them in the future. Instead, Nathan fawns all over his subjects and gets repeat interviews with high-profile women who are often leery of the press (Aretha Franklin for one). Because of his "tactics", we are able to enjoy his many interviews in one setting (this book). Too bad most of his portraits don't penetrate the surface.
Data Structures and Abstractions with Java (5th Edition) (What's New in Computer Science)
Data Structures and Abstractions with Java (5th Edition) (What's New in Computer Science)
I'm about half way through this textbook and it's further than I've gotten in any of the other oft recommended data structures textbooks. Which, in my opinion, is a great endorsement of this textbook's style and content.

This book bridges the gap nicely from a second semester Java course into the higher level data structures and algorithms classes. You need to have a firm grasp of Java OOP principles, (things like inheritance, generics, and interfaces) but you don't need to be a master of these topics.

This book also includes a gentle introduction to big-O analysis and sets the stage for thoughtful data structure design and usage with care for security and what seems like robust programming practices. Where other books may include sloppy and/or dangerous style, this author's coding style is one that I'm happy to emulate at least for the remainder of the book.

I will say that this book is not a comprehensive algorithm textbook but as far as nailing down the theory and design of abstract data types and data structures, I feel invigorated by the examples and practice problems in this book. I'm glad my class requires this text and I look forward to furthering my study with the other more revered Algorithms books once I've become a little more mature in my baseline understanding, which this book seems to be solidifying nicely.
RM RICOMAX Metal Detector for Adults & Kids - High-Accuracy, View Meter, Four Detection Modes [DISC/Tone/Full Metal/Pinpointer Mode], 10 Levels of Sensitivity Adjustment, 10-inches Search Coil
RM RICOMAX Metal Detector for Adults & Kids - High-Accuracy, View Meter, Four Detection Modes [DISC/Tone/Full Metal/Pinpointer Mode], 10 Levels of Sensitivity Adjustment, 10-inches Search Coil
This was my second attempt at a metal detector. The first was one from a brick n mortar store which ended up as a return, and thus landed me on Amazon looking at reviews and trying to make an informed decision. Searching through the multitude of metal detectors, the conflicting reviews (on all of them) made it difficult. Please know that there is a science behind metal detecting, based on your settings, and what type of metal the device is actually detecting, so it's important to understand how to adjust the settings and practice with coins and other metal that you find around your house before going out to the field... this is important.
Once you practice with the different metals and settings, you will learn the "personality" of your detector which you apply directly to your success in the field.
The directions for this device were straight forward and easy to follow. Putting the device together was a breeze, but note: it requires 2 9 volt batteries to function, so make sure you have them on hand.
There was a slight discrepancy in the directions which lead to my earlier comment about the personality of the the machine.... I noticed on my machine that the disc setting to ignore iron the disc knob had to be @ 1:00 not 11:00, nickel was 2:00 not 12:00, zinc 4:00. Once I figured this out the device became a much easier to operate.
The device was a little heavy for a 6 year old long and cumbersome - my eight year old however could use it. But quite honestly they had more fun digging in the dirt hunting the treasure detected by the machine.
We took it camping with us last weekend, the picture shows some of the junk and not so junk we found in the soil around the campsite.
It's certainly added an element of adventure to our trip as it seemed like we are on a treasure hunt.
Maybe it was buried in the description, (pun intended) but the item also comes with a little steel army like shovel that you put together, it certainly aided in the digging process of looking for what was beneath the soil.
Honestly I was on the fence on either getting this one or the popular "science magazine" version which was about 2xs the $$. I'm glad I chose this one. We couldn't be happier with the purchase.
MABLE Kid's Bamboo Toothbrush
MABLE Kid's Bamboo Toothbrush
Toothbrush didn't last at all. The bristles were too soft in my opinion. Bristles started to wear and stick out at weird angles within 2 weeks. Toothbrush will last less than one month instead of the usual 3 months that the ADA recommends you swap out a brush! The bristles didn't even outlast the return period.

The wood didn't mold. I wiped it down after use, but due to the bristle issue didn't use it for that long.

I tried a kids brush because some zero wasters recommend it for people with smaller mouths. I found that to be true, and really liked the sized of the brush.

The paint means it's not exactly home compostable, and if you don't mind the paint, the taper means it'll take a bit longer to break down. However, the taper could help kids with dexterity issues so this may be good for little kids. The base did stand on its own and that was nice and very hygenic.

The brush arrived in brown cardboard, with no glue or tape or plastic sleeve, so they get an "A" on packaging. I was very pleased with the packaging.

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