Saturday, November 26, 2011

Steve Jobs interview from 1990, recently surfaced


Watch An Interview With Steve Jobs on PBS. See more from NOVA.

Steve Jobs talks about the future of computing in a rare 50 minute TV interview aired on PBS. 

When asked how computers have changed civilization, Steve begins by noting how humans were able to leapfrog the more efficient locomotion of other animal species by using tools, or technology. 

Offering the example of how a human on a bicycle could easily surpass the locomotive advantage of the most efficient animal, a condor, Jobs concludes: 

"We humans are tool-builders. And we can fashion tools that amplify these inherent abilities that we have to spectacular magnitudes. So for me, a computer has always been a bicycle of the mind: something that takes us far beyond our inherent abilities. I think we're just at the early stages of this tool."

You can see by the re-do of his 1st interview response that Steve was always "on message" and rehearsing and delivering the exact points he wanted to make when selling his vision of how we use technology and Apple products. 

It also highlights the fact that modern TV interviews are often actually rehearsed, taped, and edited performances, rather than the more spontaneous give-and-take than the finished product tries to convey.. Steve could see this, and he crafted his message to the medium, whether he was out on his own at NeXT or selling to a larger consumer market for Apple. 

Enjoy the discussion and insights, and see our related posts for more on Steve Jobs.

Related articles and posts

1. Interview: Steve Jobs and Bill Gates at D5 conference - Finance Trends.

2. In Charts: Apple (AAPL) vs. Microsoft (MSFT) - Finance Trends.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Inner Voice of Trading: a lesson on ego and risk

The Inner Voice of Trading Michael Martin
Michael Martin was kind enough to recently send over a review copy (via the FT Press) of his new book, The Inner Voice of Trading

I've started reading through the book and have highlighted an important lesson on risk mgmt., ego, and the emotions we feel as humans who trade. 

Here are a few thoughts from chapter 2 of Michael's book, paraphrased or direct quotes, that address some of these issues: 

Most traders drawn to risk management focus on the external "how to" aspect of trading, vs. the inner aspect of emotions and psychology. This is where trouble begins.

Our American education system has ingrained in us the need for accuracy and regurgitation of info. We become conditioned to this accuracy model and the rewards of rote learning. The longer we remain in this reward model, the more it colors everything we do in life. 

In the school model, one's self-esteem is tied to being right. Avoiding mistakes, especially public mistakes becomes paramount. But in trading, one can be wrong in most choices and experience regular "outlier" events in the course of trading the markets. Traders must somehow learn that they will miss out or be incorrect regularly and still have a shot at great success. 

Traders need to have a survival plan. Know when you will get out of a trade before you get in.

If you don't take the small loss today, your capital and trading career may not survive tomorrow.

The most successful traders surrender their egos to not knowing the frequency or magnitude of any trend. They quiet their mind and follow their inner voice.

Most of the world can't keep their losses small. Professional traders and investors who've been around for decades are usually those who play the best defense

I'll try to review the book in full after I've finished reading it. Till then, check out Michael's book along with this interview on The Inner Voice of Trading, and visit Martin Kronicle for more on trading from Michael and his interview guests.

Monday, November 14, 2011

When you have no move, do nothing...

Arnold Rothstein gambling Boardwalk Empire

"...You have no move, Mr. Thompson. You do nothing.". 

Reflecting on Nucky Thompson's compromised position in the most recent episode of Boardwalk Empire, Arnold Rothstein (played by Michael Stuhlbarg) tells the embattled Atlantic City treasurer/gangster to simply wait and plan for a time when there is a move to be made. 

Rothstein elaborates:  

"I've made my living, Mr. Thompson, in large part as a gambler. Some days I make 20 bets. Some days I make none.

...There are weeks, sometimes months in fact, when I make no bets at all because there simply is no play. So I wait, plan, marshal my resources and when I finally see an opportunity and there is a bet to make, I bet it all.".

Leaving aside the near-certainty of fixed bets and the part about "betting it all", doesn't this sound like the strategy of a good speculator? When there is no clear move to be made, you must simply wait and do nothing until the real move (the true opportunity) presents itself. 

Then, having protected your capital and your wits, you may step in and seize the opportunity.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg interview w/ Charlie Rose

Mark Zuckerberg Facebook interview Charlie Rose Show

Charlie Rose interviews Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg in an hour-long discussion on the future of the social web and the impact of social media. 

Interesting chat and here's one noteworthy comment from Mark on the need for engineers in our new economy: "My #1 piece of advice [for young students and job seekers] is you should learn how to program".

Also, some discussion of American entrepreneurship, risk-taking, and innovation. 

Check it out.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Rakesh Jhunjhunwala interview: Wizards of Dalal Street

On CNBC India, Rakesh Jhunjhunwala is feted in the same way Warren Buffett is here in the USA. 

He is known as one of the great bulls of the Indian markets, and while his success has coincided with the recent decades' secular uptrend in Indian shares, Rakesh is also an adept trader who has made money selling short. He cites Buffett and Marc Faber as two of the greatest influences on his trading and his understanding of markets.

CNBC-TV 18 profiles the Indian share trader and investor in this biography special, Wizards of Dalal Street. Rakesh tells Ramesh Damani the story of how he got his start in the share markets and how he searches for attractive investments today. 

Here are a few excerpts from the discussion, in which Jhunjhunwala talks about his childhood interest in the workings of share market and shares a few lessons on speculation:

CNBC:  "But you're a bureaucrat's son. I mean, weren't you compelled into [that area]?"

Rakesh: "I was a bureaucrat's son, but fortunately I had a very democratic father. And also we had a business background...my father was an intelligent man and he encouraged me to do whatever I had an interest in."

On speculation and reality: 

CNBC: "Does speculation teach you to be realistic, because you are betting on leveraged money?" 

Rakesh: "I think so, because speculation requires and teaches you to accept reality as it is, rather than reality as you would like to have it."

An important point on risk taking and concentration: 

CNBC: "But is one of Rakesh Jhunjhunwala's tenets is when he finds an idea to bet big?" 

Rakesh: "Big is relative, Ramesh. But when I find an idea whose prospects are very good...you have to be conscience of one thing - the great investment opportunities are very rare. So when you get them, seize them. And seize them in a manner that if you're right, it makes some difference to your balance sheet."



Check out the full interview here. Much great wisdom and insights within.

If you're enjoying these posts and would like to see more, please subscribe to our free RSS updates and follow Finance Trends in real-time on Twitter and StockTwits. You can also check out our related posts below for more market wisdom and trading insights.  


Related articles and posts

1. Rakesh Jhunjhunwala interview on FT.com - Finance Trends.

2. FY 2012 has been the worst trading year of my life: Jhunjhunwala - Moneycontrol. 

3. Rakesh interview CNBC-TV 18 transcript: Momentum and risk - Moneycontrol.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Black markets: a global $10 trillion economy

Excellent article from Foreign Policy entitled, "The Shadow Superpower", which examines the world's $10 trillion underground economy.

"You probably have never heard of System D.

Neither had I until I started visiting street markets and unlicensed bazaars around the globe.System D is a slang phrase pirated from French-speaking Africa and the Caribbean. The French have a word that they often use to describe particularly effective and motivated people. They call them débrouillards.

To say a man is a débrouillard is to tell people how resourceful and ingenious he is. The former French colonies have sculpted this word to their own social and economic reality. They say that inventive, self-starting, entrepreneurial merchants who are doing business on their own, without registering or being regulated by the bureaucracy and, for the most part, without paying taxes, are part of "l'economie de la débrouillardise."

Or, sweetened for street use, "Systeme D." This essentially translates as the ingenuity economy, the economy of improvisation and self-reliance, the do-it-yourself, or DIY, economy..."

Why the attraction to this unlicensed, improvised economy? Because that's where the jobs are, and where flexibility exists for entrepreneurs and traders/merchants to come in and do their thing without burdensome costs of regulation, licensing, and taxation (i.e., red tape). 

"...It used to be that System D was small -- a handful of market women selling a handful of shriveled carrots to earn a handful of pennies. It was the economy of desperation. But as trade has expanded and globalized, System D has scaled up too.

Today, System D is the economy of aspiration. It is where the jobs are. In 2009, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), a think tank sponsored by the governments of 30 of the most powerful capitalist countries and dedicated to promoting free-market institutions, concluded that half the workers of the world -- close to 1.8 billion people -- were working in System D: off the books, in jobs that were neither registered nor regulated, getting paid in cash, and, most often, avoiding income taxes. "

This is a trend I've talked about a bit on Twitter, but haven't covered here on the blog. Be sure to check out the full piece. It's well worth your time, and these trends will likely take hold here in the USA for similar reasons.