Feynman Video on No Ordinary Genius
Richard Feynman was one of my heroes. Start your 2012 on an inspiring note by watching the video (link) below.
Throughout history, the Ayn Rand pointed out, the greatest heroes of mankind have been original thinkers who rejected the core beliefs of their societies, formed new ideas, and struggled for years against social norms to have the new theories accepted. Socrates, Copernicus, Galileo, Darwin, and Pasteur are all examples of this phenomenon.
An individual—a thinking individual—is not a helpless pawn of his society, its educational system, and its core beliefs. He is able to look at the realities of the world, at nature, at facts, and think independently. This is how many individuals come to reject the beliefs of their families, their clergy, their teachers, their professors, their governments, and their societies in general. This is how independent freethinkers have arisen, battled against the entrenched conservative beliefs of their societies, and ultimately established the truth of their new theories. –Andrew Bernstein
Richard Feynman is no ordinary genius. He was one of the world’s greatest physicists who loved Go-Go Girls (yeah!) and bongo drums–an inspiring 90 minute video on a creative, free-thinker. Lessons for the investor?
Wal-Mart (“WMT”) Case Study
Wal-Mart Case Study on its Stores’ Discount Operations (9-387-018). Please read the first 112 pages of Competition Demystified in the Value Vault. You will find the above case there. Please describe why you think Wal-Mart has been so successful? Please support your assumptions with data and figures from the case. Will WMT continue to be successful? How would you determine if WMT will maintain its success. What about competition? Hint: Sam Walton was a superb entrepreneur and CEO but leave him out of your analysis. For those who wish to learn more about Wal-Mart and Sam Walton then go here: http://www.amazon.com/Sam-Walton-Made-America/dp/0553562835/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1325609378&sr=8-1
You have until Monday of next week to complete this case. To get yourself in the mood to complete a case study: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4j25Pj4JyQ and part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JJ7aVrtTbg0
Yes, it is lonely and hard work, but you can save $80,000 per year (yes, you don’t receive the MBA credential).
This case will take you a few hours but the effort will be rewarded because you must know the sources of competitive advantage for one of the greatest companies of all-time.
We will begin to review your 112 pages of reading this week plus include other case studies to reinforce concepts.
A blog on investing and competitive analysis from a student of mine and fine investor: http://thefallibleinvestor.com/
Quiz on Economic Thinking
We may have to read Capitalism by Reisman (in VALUE VAULT plus the Study Guide on Capitalism) to deepen our understanding of costs, prices, economies of scale and diminishing marginal utility.
Can someone reply to these questions?
- What is inflation?
- Do rising wages cause inflation?
- Should businesses pay an excess profits tax on the raising of prices of their products if excessive?
Take no more than three minutes.
May 2012 exceed your expectations.
 To enter the VALUE VAULT please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with VALUE VAULT in the subject heading.