I’ve got great news about another new resource available at Summary.com. How much do you think it would cost to attend an event where you hear vital business lectures from speakers such as Bill George, Patrick Lencioni, Jeffrey D. Sachs, Paul Krugman and David M. Rubenstein, among others? The event is the World Business Forum, and a ticket can cost as much as $2,500.
Fortunately, Soundview has partnered with HSM Global, producers of the World Business Forum, to bring you exclusive audio summaries of the event’s major speakers. These audio summaries are available for you to listen to for FREE!
Each audio summary is a 10-minute MP3 that features a narrated overview of the speech. The summary includes actual clips from the live speech given by the presenter at World Business Forum. If these tough economic times meant that you weren’t able to spend $2,500 on a ticket to the World Business Forum, these FREE audio summaries allow you to hear what you missed.
I need to stress here that you do NOT have to be a Soundview subscriber to listen to the World Business Forum audio summaries. These exclusive content pieces are FREE for everyone to learn from and enjoy. In fact, I’d recommend starting with Patrick Lencioni, whose latest book Getting Naked: A Business Fable About Shedding the Three Fears that Sabotage Client Loyalty is now available as a Soundview summary!
To listen to the audio summaries from the World Business Forum, CLICK THIS LINK!
You’ve got to give credit to Warren Buffett for a good turn of phrase. While sourcing this quote is a bit tough, America’s most famous investor is credited with saying, “When people are greedy, be nervous. When people are nervous, be greedy.” Companies that apply this logic often look at unstable economic times as an opportunity to make bold moves.
Today’s headlines indicate that Kraft Foods is one such company looking to make a move. In an acquisition attempt that’s on par with a lunar eclipse in terms of size, the food giant is bidding to take over British confectioner Cadbury. According to a company profile, Kraft is the second largest food company in the world and the largest in the United States. If you didn’t bother to click on the link in the previous sentence, go back and take a look at the brands Kraft controls. Stunning isn’t it? How much of your grocery cart is devoted to Kraft products? If you’re a parent, your purchases of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, Oreo cookies and Kool-Aid are probably a large factor in why Kraft is able to make such a bold move. I know I’ve done my part with my love of Ritz crackers and Philadelphia cream cheese.
Now Kraft is looking to become parent to yet another organization. However, as press reports indicate, Cadbury is attempting to resist the acquisition. While I’m not certain that the move will affect the taste of the Dairy Milk bar (a Cadbury staple), investors and business analysts are keeping a close eye on the proceedings.
If this deal touches off a resurgence in mergers and acquisitions (also known as M&A, which tend to occur during periods of economic recovery), executives may want to brush up on the basics of M&A. For that, I’d recommend a book we summarized a short time ago whose advice remains timeless. Scott Moeller and Chris Brady authored Intelligent M&A, a title that gives executives a strong survival guide to the intense, high-stakes world of mergers and acquisitions. It’s one of the most clear-cut books on the subject and would serve any executive well prior to being given a role in a company’s M&A efforts.
I came across this review of a book released earlier this year that discusses R.C. Willey, the furniture and electronics store purchased by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway. I wonder if people didn’t focus on this book because it dealt with Bill Child, the founder of R.C. Willey, rather than on Buffett himself. That’s a shame, because Child is a fascinating character whose efforts helped propel his business to blue chip status in the eyes of the world’s most famous investor.
How to Build a Business Warren Buffett Would Buy does more than just give readers a peek into how to remodel a business from one that struggles to one that exceeds expectations. The book goes beyond numbers into the aspects of moral character and trust that form both a good workplace and a company profile that Buffett admires.
In regard to ethics, Child’s own belief in the adaptability of a business and the importance of creating a loyal work force have been echoed time and again in books about Buffett. When we reviewed Alice Schroeder’s comprehensive Buffett biography, The Snowball, we were struck by how often Buffett executed acquisition decisions by paying as much attention to the company’s philosophy as he did its balance sheet.
As the reviewer in the article above notes, the acquisition of R.C. Willey made Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway a substantial profit, while Child certainly benefited from receiving “A” shares in Buffett’s company as part of the buy-out. Without going into a long explanation, “A” shares in Berkshire Hathaway trade for a significantly higher price than “B” shares. It just goes to show that there is still a value on companies founded on a strong work ethic and firm moral character.
Panic is too mild a word for what many investors are experiencing right now, with banks closing or being bought at an alarming rate, the stock market dropping drastically, and the success of the government bailout questionable at best. So the question of the day is “Where do I put my money?”
One possible answer is found in the new release The Gone Fishin’ Portfolio , published by Wiley and written by Alexander Green. Green is the chairman of Investment U and the investment director for The Oxford Club. He brings his 23 years of investment experience to this book, which details his proven investment strategy, based on the mathematical formulas of Dr. Harold Markowitz, who won the 1990 Nobel Prize in Economics for his work.
Green’s contention is that if you follow his investment advice, made up of a simple mix of mutual funds, you can let it run and go fishing. Although this may sound too good to be true, by following this formula Green was able to retire from the securities industry at age 43 having gone from a net worth of zero to financial independence. The key to his success is Asset Allocation, developing the most effective, optimal mix of investments. By optimal, he means “that there is not another combination of asset classes that is expected to generate a higher ratio of return to risk.”
Of course, investment strategies are everywhere, so we recommend you do your homework before buying into Green’s advice. Here are a couple of opinions on Green’s investment strategy out in the market place: Daily Wealth, and Stock Gumshoe. We’d love to hear your thoughts as well.