Jun 30, 2017

Zachary Slayback on the difference between education and schooling

Schooling is a process.  Schooling is something that is set up, and not all schooling is necessarily bad.  But schooling that is forced on people is usually bad, and it is a process that people go through.  Education is substance.  Education is something you engage in in order to learn things, in order to adapt, in order to change.  It's something that doesn't have a beginning or an end.

[...]

Education is something that is highly individually driven.  It has certain ends.  I think that the end and the purpose of education is to equip people to identify what meaning is in their life and to try to achieve that meaning from their life.  School on the other hand is usually meant to just impress bureaucrats.

~ Zachary Slayback, co-founder of Praxis, Tom Woods Show podcast, "The End of School: Reclaiming Education from the Classroom," March 22, 2016

Jun 28, 2017

Nassim Taleb and Mary Blythe on suppressing volatility

Complex systems that have artificially suppressed volatility tend to become extremely fragile, while at the same time exhibiting no visible risks.

~ Nassim Taleb and Mary Blythe

Jun 26, 2017

Lao Tzu on leadership

A leader is best when people barely know that he exists; not so good when people obey and acclaim him; worst when they despise him.

~ Lao Tzu

Jun 24, 2017

Brooke Lorimer on empathy and kindness

Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.  Be kind.  Always.

~ Brooke Lorimer, Guideposts reader, Boulder, Co

Tony Robbins on change

If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always gotten.

~ Tony Robbins, motivational speaker

Jun 23, 2017

Steve Ballmer on the importance of good ideas

A great team, great energy, and great hard work will never make up for a bad idea.

~ Steve Ballmer, 2014 commencement speech, USC's Marshall School of Business

Peyton Manning on the value of experts

When you are chided for your naivete - and you will be - remind your critics that an amateur built the ark and experts built the Titanic.

~ Peyton Manning, 2014 commencement speech, University of Virginia

Tony Dwyer thinks "fear dominates market activity" (2000)

The history of the market has shown us that, when fear dominates market activity, it's an opportunity to buy stocks at a better price.

~ Anthony Dwyer, chief market strategist, Kirlin Holdings, as quoted in The Wall Street Journal, February 3, 2000

Jun 20, 2017

B.C. Forbes on complexity

The man of fixed ingrained principles who has mapped out a straight course, and has the courage and self-control to adhere to it, does not find life complex.  Complexities are all of our own making.

~ B.C. Forbes, publisher

Voltaire on appreciation

Appreciation is a wonderful thing; it makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.

~ Voltaire, satirist

Leo Buscaglia on talent

Your talent is God's gift to you.  What you do with it is your gift back to God.

~ Leo Buscaglia, writer, lecturer

Aristotle on good habits

We are what we repeatedly do.  Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit.

~ Aristotle, philosopher

Atlanta Fed president: U.S. economy "envy of the world" (2001)

In the long term, the moderation of growth that we'll witness in 2001 will be a mostly healthy thing.  It will help the economy avoid some serious imbalances that might otherwise have begun to accumulate, and it will help ensure that growth remains sustainable.

~ Jack Guynn, Atlanta Federal Reserve President, "U.S. slowdown dubbed 'healthy'," Investors Business Daily, January 9, 2001

(Guynn called the U.S. economy "the envy of the world.")

Nolan Bushnell on taking action

Everyone who's ever taken a shower has an idea.  It's the person who gets out of the shower, dries off and does something about it who makes a difference.

~ Nolan Bushnell, executive

Publilius Syrus on learning from mistakes

He is foolish to blame the sea who is shipwrecked twice.

~ Publilius Syrus, writer

Thomas Edison on persistence

The first requisite of success is the ability to apply your physical and mental energies to one problem without growing weary.

~ Thomas Edison, inventor

Michael Goodwin on how 2016 election exposed bias of mainstream media

I’ve been a journalist for a long time. Long enough to know that it wasn’t always like this. There was a time not so long ago when journalists were trusted and admired. We were generally seen as trying to report the news in a fair and straightforward manner. Today, all that has changed. For that, we can blame the 2016 election or, more accurately, how some news organizations chose to cover it. Among the many firsts, last year’s election gave us the gobsmacking revelation that most of the mainstream media puts both thumbs on the scale—that most of what you read, watch, and listen to is distorted by intentional bias and hostility. I have never seen anything like it. Not even close.

~ Michael Goodwin, chief political columnist, The New York Post, "The 2016 Election and the Demise of Journalistic Standards," Imprimis, May/June 2017

Jun 14, 2017

Time's Daniel Kadlec on the tech bubble and related anti-bubbles

A massive liquidation of nontech assets is under way as people reach for the means to buy more Cisco, 3com and Apple. It's an incredible display of pack investing that begs the question, Is NASDAQ bulletproof?

[...]

The reallocation is not just in assets but also in talent.  Bankers, lawyers and money managers are fleeing careers in depressed pockets of the market like real estate to hitch a ride to Silicon Valley.

The shift is clearest, though, in hard numbers.  In January, investors poured a record $40 billion into stock funds, and $29 billion of it went into aggressive growth and growth funds - the ones that own NASDAQ stocks.  The rest went into sector funds, which are 75% invested in tech.  Equity-income funds and growth and income funds (which favor blue chips) had outflows.  Bond funds also had outflows - a hefty $10 billion worth.

By one measure, the NASDAQ accounts for every penny made in the stock market the past 12 months.  In that span, the market value of all U.S. stocks increased $2.5 trillion, but NASDAQ stocks alone rose $3.1 trillion.  That means non-NASDAQ stocks fell $600 billion.  Foreigners are equally gaga.  Last year they were net sellers of Treasury bonds for the first time, and they bought a record $107 billion of U.S. stocks.  Care to guess which ones?

~ Daniel Kadlec, "What Blue Chips?  The NASDAQ is killing the Dow, which is why it's more critical than ever that you stay diversified," Time, March 13, 2000

Portfolio manager sees valuations as reasonable (2000)

We think there is some sustainability here given valuations and expected growth.  We have positioned our customers with that in mind.

~ Paul Cox, portfolio manager, Commerce Fund in St. Louis, MO, as quoted in The Wall Street Journal, September 29, 2000

Steve Forbes advocates aggressive easing after tech bubble unwind (2001)

With glacial speed, Alan Greenspan is coming around to the view that a faltering economy, not incipient inflation, is the most immediate threat. But instead of moving speedily, the Federal Reserve will soon begin a series of baby-step reductions in interest rates. This sluggish, woolly-mammoth-like response is a danger.

Longer term, though, there is another potential hazard. The Fed could fall into the trap in which the Bank of Japan finds itself: Interest rates are cut and cut and cut, yet the economy doesn’t recover. The U.S. experienced such a phenomenon in the 1930s, when Treasury bill rates were almost 0% and unemployment remained in double digits until the Second World War. Pushing on a shoestring, it was called.

~ Steve Forbes, "Going the Way of Japan?," Forbes, January 22, 2001

Jun 13, 2017

Ken Fisher: tech bubble still in the middle of bursting (2001)

People keep asking if the technology drubbing is over - or will be soon.  As long as folks keep asking, you don't have to.  It isn't over until they stop asking.  The end is silent.  Make no mistake, this is the middle of the bursting of a classic sector bubble.

~ Ken Fisher, "Tech 2001," Forbes, January 22, 2001

Federated Investors CIO advises buying tech dip (2000)

With tech valuations having reached more reasonable levels, this could be an excellent time to rotate back into technology.

~ J. Thomas Madden, chief investment officer, Federated Investors, as quote in The Wall Street Journal, September 20, 2000

Ronald Reagan on attitude

A pessimist is someone who complains about the noise when opportunity knocks.

~ President Ronald Reagan

Vince Lombardi on excellence

The quality of a person's life is in direct proportion to his commitment to excellence.

~ Vince Lombardi, football coach

Christina Baldwin on forgiveness

Forgiveness is the act of admitting we are like other people.

~ Christina Baldwin, writer

Ronald Reagan on attitude

Optimism is a choice, and one of the most powerful we can make.

~ President Ronald Reagan

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe on potential

If I accept you as you are, I will make you worse; however, if I treat you as though you are what you are capable of becoming, I help you become that.

~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, poet

Murray Rothbard on the nature of the State

The State, in the words of Oppenheimer, is the “organization of the political means”; it is the systematization of the predatory process over a given territory.  For crime, at best, is sporadic and uncertain; the parasitism is ephemeral, and the coercive, parasitic lifeline may be cut off at any time by the resistance of the victims.  The State provides a legal, orderly, systematic channel for the predation of private property; it renders certain, secure, and relatively “peaceful” the lifeline of the parasitic caste in society.  Since production must always precede predation, the free market is anterior to the State.  The State has never been created by a “social contract”; it has always been born in conquest and exploitation.  The classic paradigm was a conquering tribe pausing in its time-honored method of looting and murdering a conquered tribe, to realize that the time-span of plunder would be longer and more secure, and the situation more pleasant, if the conquered tribe were allowed to live and produce, with the conquerors settling among them as rulers exacting a steady annual tribute.

~ Murray Rothbard, The Anatomy of the State (1974)

Michael Corleone on politics and crime

Politics and crime, they're the same thing.

~ Michael Corleone in The Godfather Part III

Abby Joseph Cohen: "The intermediate and longer-term view remains bright" (2000)

The intermediate and longer-term view remains bright.

~ Abby Joseph Cohen, as quoted in The Wall Street Journal, September 22, 2000

(WSJ: Stocks did benefit from another round of bullish comments from Goldman Sachs investment strategist Abby Joseph Cohen.  She published a report saying oil, the euro and 3rd quarter corporate profits will prove to be "short-lived" worries.)

Abby Joseph Cohen remains bullish after stocks bounce from March-May 2000 selloff

We had gotten to notably low levels of valuation.  [Now,] we're back in the range of where we should be.

~ Abby Joseph Cohen, as quoted in The Wall Street Journal, June 5, 2000

PaineWebber strategist justifies high tech stock valuations

A very fast growth rate is worth a very high price-earnings multiple.  In a low inflation environment, [a stock growing at 15% a year] is worth a P/E of 65.  And a 20% growth stock is worth a P/E of 106.

~ Edward Kerschner, investment strategist, PaineWebber, as quoted in The Wall Street Journal, June 2, 2000

(Kershner was defending the high valuations of large cap tech stocks like Cisco Systems, America Online, Hewlett-Packard and Microsoft at the top of the 2000 tech bubble.)

Theodore Roosevelt on the key to success

The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people.

~ President Theodore Roosevelt

Peter Drucker on logic and production

Production is not the application of tools to materials, but logic to work.

~ Peter Drucker, business writer

Malcolm Forbes on self esteem

Too many people overvalue what they are not, and undervalue what they are.

~ Malcolm Forbes, publisher

Napoleon Hill on persistence

Effort only fully releases to reward after a person refuses to quit.

~ Napoleon Hill, writer and teacher

Donald Trump on focus

I try to learn from the past, but I plan for the future by focusing exclusively on the present.  That's where the fun is.

~ Donald Trump, businessman

Mark Twain on innovation

You can't depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.

~ Mark Twain, novelist, journalist

Benjamin Franklin on learning from adversity

Those things that hurt, instruct.

~ Benjamin Franklin

Bishop George Berkeley on honesty

Truth is the cry of all, but the game of few.

~ Bishop George Berkeley, philosopher

Robert Half on excuses

The longer the excuse, the less likely it's the truth.

~ Robert Half, employment coach

Thomas Wentworth Higginson on teamwork

Great men are rarely isolated mountain peaks; they are the summits of ranges.

~ Thomas Wentworth Higginson, minister, Army officer, lecturer

Winston Churchill on brevity

This report, by its very length, defends itself against the risk of being read.

~ Winston Churchill, British prime minister

Benjamin Franklin on humility

To be humble to superiors is a duty; to equals, courtesy; to inferiors, nobleness.

~ Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin on learning

An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.

~ Benjamin Franklin, statesman, inventor, printer

Albert Einstein on innovation

If at first the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it.

~ Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein on discipline

The secret of discipline is motivation.  When a man is sufficiently motivated, discipline will take care of itself.

~ Albert Einstein

John Rollwagen on competitive advantage

The secret of business, especially these days, is to focus relentlessly on your unfair advantage - the thing you do that others don't.

~ John Rollwagen, former CEO, Cray Research

Ken Rosenthal on personal growth

Each time you decide to grow again, you realize you're starting at the bottom of another ladder.

~ Ken Rosenthal, entrepreneur

Ralph Waldo Emerson on conformity

A man must consider what a rich realm he abdicates when he becomes a conformist.

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson, essayist

George Washington Carver on excuses

Ninety-nine percent of the failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses.

~ George Washington Carver, botanist and chemist

Jun 9, 2017

Ed Yardeni dismisses any concerns of recession

If you don't have a boom, you don't get a bust.

~ Ed Yardeni, as appeared on CNBC's Fast Money, June 9, 2017

(Yardeni explained why slow economic growth is bullish for stocks.)

Jun 7, 2017

Leonardo da Vinci on vision

There are three classes of people: those who see, those who see when they are shown, those who do not see.

~ Leonardo da Vinci

None of 89 economists surveyed expect recession by 2019

Of 89 economists surveyed by Bloomberg, not a single one currently expects a GDP contraction in 2017, 2018 or 2019. The median expected growth rate in these years ranges from 2.2 to 2.4 percent.

~ "2017 In Gold We Trust" report, Incrementum AG, p. 28

Jun 5, 2017

Louise Nevelson on aging and creativity

I never feel age...  If you have creative work, you don't have age or time.

~ Louise Nevelson, sculptor

Mike Tyson on best laid plans

Everybody has a plan until they get hit. Then, like a rat, they stop in fear and freeze.

[...]

If you’re good and your plan is working, somewhere during the duration of that, the outcome of that event you're involved in, you're going to get the wrath, the bad end of the stick. Let's see how you deal with it. Normally people don’t deal with it that well.

~ Mike Tyson, boxer