If You're So Smart, Why Aren't You Rich?
To be a successful investor, you don't want to be jumping from one company to the next. Instead, William Ackman says, pick a company that you can own forever.
From 2011-2014, Daniel Honan was the Managing Editor at Big Think. Prior to Big Think, Daniel was Vice President of Production for Plum TV, a niche cable network he helped launch in 2002. The production team he oversaw won over two dozen Emmy awards. Daniel has created numerous shows and documentaries for television, and his film credits include Stealing the Fire, a documentary on the black market for nuclear weapons technology.
Follow Daniel on Twitter @DanielHonan
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What's the Big Idea?
Warren Buffet is fond of saying that the first rule of investing is never lose money and rule number two is never forget rule number one. William Ackman takes this lesson as a point of departure for his Floating University lecture entitled "If You're So Smart, Why Aren't You Rich?"
Ackman asks how can you avoid loses and earn an attractive return over time? Ackman's answer is that you don't want to be jumping from one company to the next. Instead, Ackman says, pick a company that you can own forever. In other words, if the stock market were to close for 10 years, you'd be perfectly happy with this investment. Two examples of these types of companies that Ackman offers are Coca Cola and McDonald's. These are companies, according to Ackman, are easy to understand, they're not complicated, have long-term track records, demonstrate an attractive profit, and can grow over time.
Watch William Ackman here:
What's the Significance?
William Ackman asks what are the key things to look for in a business that lasts forever. First off, he says you should look at businesses that sell a product or service that people need, which is unique, and which people are willing to pay a premium for.
According to Ackman, another good example of this is the candy business. While people will buy generic versions of certain products, they tend to prefer a Hershey bar over the Walmart version or the Kmart version.
Why is this important? You don’t want to invest in a business that someone else can replicate and then sell at a better price.
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- It's traveling so quickly it's been described as a hurricane of dark matter
- Scientists are excited to set their particle detectors at the onslffaught
Bernardo Kastrup proposes a new ontology he calls “idealism” built on panpsychism, the idea that everything in the universe contains consciousness. He solves problems with this philosophy by adding a new suggestion: The universal mind has dissociative identity disorder.
There’s a reason they call it the “hard problem.” Consciousness: Where is it? What is it? No one single perspective seems to be able to answer all the questions we have about consciousness. Now Bernardo Kastrup thinks he’s found one. He calls his ontology idealism, and according to idealism, all of us and all we perceive are manifestations of something very much like a cosmic-scale dissociative identity disorder (DID). He suggests there’s an all-encompassing universe-wide consciousness, it has multiple personalities, and we’re them.
Firefighters in California are still struggling to contain several wildfires nearly one week after they broke out.
- Hundreds of people are still missing after three wildfires spread across Northern and Southern California last week.
- 48 of the 50 deaths occurred after the Camp Fire blazed through the town of Paradise, north of Sacramento.
- On Tuesday night, a fourth wildfire broke out, though it's mostly contained.
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