What I Have Been Reading – October 2020

Apples Search Engine

Apple now receives an estimated $8 billion to $12 billion in annual payments — up from$1 billion a year in 2014 — in exchange for building Google’s search engine into its products. It is probably the single biggest payment that Google makes to anyone and accounts for 14 to 21 percent of Apple’s annual profits.



Bureaucracy Of The Big Firm

Sears’s widely trusted appliance brand, Kenmore, was divided between the appliance division and the branding division. The former had to pay fees to the latter for any transaction. But selling non-Sears-branded appliances was more profitable to the appliances division, so they began to offer more prominent in-store placement to rivals of Kenmore products, undermining overall profitability.



Airline Book Value

The Financial Times pegs the value of Delta’s loyalty program at a whopping $26 billion, American Airlines at $24 billion, and United at $20 billion. All of these valuations are comfortably above the market capitalization of the airlines themselves — Delta is worth $19 billion, American $6 billion, and United $10 billion.In other words, if you take away the loyalty program, Delta’s real-world airline operation — with hundreds of planes, a world-beating maintenance operation, landing rights, brand recognition, and experienced executives — is worth roughly negative $7 billion.



The Under Armour Brand

Here’s a mind blowing stat — Between 2010 and 2016, Under Armour’s revenue grew from $1.1 billion to $4.8 billion, accelerating at a compounded annual growth rate of 28.7%.
Under Armour’s struggles really all come down to one thing — an unwavering commitment to performance appeal and footwear.

Rather than investing in, implementing, and riding the fashion and athleisure wave—like Nike, Lululemon, and Adidas have done—Under Armour spent $700 million between 2013 and 2015 to acquire several fitness and health-related apps in an effort to become a “digitally interconnected fitness and health company that could touch all aspects of the consumer’s life.”





No amount of reading or paper trading will prepare you for how it truly feels in the heat of battle.

There is a great scene in ‘Bridge On The River Kwai’ where Jack Hawkins brings a young soldier in and hands him a knife, asking him if he thinks he could use it in cold blood. The boy doesn’t know. “Well, at least he’s honest.” The fact is, none of us know until we face that enemy whether you can thrust that blade home or pull the trigger on your order.



Free Shares

Sign-up to Freetrade via my link and we can both get a free share worth between £3 and £200. All You need to do is sign up via this link –   Freetrade,  top up your account, could be as little as £1 and complete the w8-ben form on the app.




Married women lost almost 1 million jobs last month, while single men gained 1.2 million. The school-shuttering pandemic is a tax on families that is being disproportionately borne by mothers.



Fewer Cars, More Accidents

There were fewer cars on the road last spring during the height of the pandemic, but traffic fatality rates increased 30% in the second quarter as evidence suggests drivers engaged in more risky behavior, federal officials say.



Pent-up Demand

‘Hotel prices shot up, ride-hailing apps crashed, tickets to the Great Wall sold out: after more than nine long, housebound months, almost half a billion Chinese people are taking a vacation.’




Dopamine… is all about the future— it’s about making the future better. It gives us desire and anticipation, but it makes promises it can’t keep.”




In investment and life it is important to have principles—things you believe in deeply and are willing to stick to even when they are unpopular and costly. But only fanatics make every decision a matter of principle. The basics of quant investing, rigorous and skeptical consideration of all evidence plus insistence on logical theory, are sound principles in good times and bad. But principles are only general guides. Wise investors allow themselves flexibility in execution.




A study this summer by accounting and consulting firm KPMG forecast that vehicle miles traveled will settle at about 90% of pre-2020 levels in coming years. On a per capita basis, they were down 5% from their all-time high in the mid-2000s even before the pandemic. Driving in the U.S. would seem to have peaked.



Jack Daniels True Origins

It was recently discovered that the famous spirit by the name of Jack Daniels, was not invented by himself. The story (lie) behind Jack Daniels was that the recipe was invented by a man named Dan Call and then had been perfected by Jack.

However, the original story and the true story is much more different. According to a biography from 1976, Dan Call told Nearis Green to teach Jack everything he knew about making whiskey. Nearis Green actually worked in a distillery before becoming Jack’s slave. After Green helped Jack perfect the recipe, he opened his own distillery and took two of Green’s sons to work in his distillery as he thought they would have their father’s talent at distilling whisky.




Luck is a loaded word. Saying somebody got lucky takes away from everything else they did to deserve what they have. Saying someone is fortunate doesn’t encroach as much on their efforts. For example, “they’re fortunate to be where they are” still allows that person to take some credit while “they’re lucky to be where they are” makes it sound like they just won the lottery. Words, in this case, really matter.

Irrelevant Investor


The Fall Of Ant Financial

Corporate China’s shiniest star was just days away from seeing his Ant Group list on the stock market in a record $37 billion deal, when he chose to launch a blistering public attack on the country’s financial watchdogs and banks.

It was this speech that set off a chain of events that ultimately torpedoed the listing of Ant, the fintech titan Ma founded, according to interviews with government officials, company executives and investors.

State regulators started compiling reports including one on how Ant had used digital financial products like Huabei, a virtual credit card service, to encourage poor and young people to build up debt, according to the two people.



Driving On The Left Side Of The Road

Countries that continue to drive on the left side of the road are mainly those places that used to be British colonies. In medieval days, most people used the left side of the road. It had to do with safety and security, and the avoidance of getting killed. Anyone with a sword preferred the left side of the road. This enabled the swordsman to keep their right arm close to an opponent and their sword away from them on the left side of their body.

In addition, a horse is easier to mount from the left side for a right-handed person. It just made good sense. A rider could mount their horse on the left side of the road instead of in the middle where they could clog up traffic and make the peasant folk angry. So how did it change to the right?