Monthly Archives: December 2013

The latest from GMO’s James Montier,  No Silver Bullets in Investing (just old snake oil in new bottles) debunks some widely held beliefs about investing and inflation protection.  His findings will surprise you but his conclusion probably won’t:

“The one thing that unites everything I’ve been writing about in this paper is the golden rule of investing: no asset (or strategy) is so good that you should invest irrespective of the price paid. If when buying a house the mantra is “location, location, location,” when thinking about any investment (be it an asset or a strategy), the equivalent refrain should be “valuation, valuation, valuation.” We would argue that one of the myths perpetuated by our industry is that there are lots of ways to generate good long-run real returns, but we believe there is really only one: buying cheap assets.”

A fascinating approach to the hierarchy of innovation based on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.  Go check out the full post at Rough Type.

hierarchy of innovation“The focus, or emphasis, of innovation moves up through five stages, propelled by shifts in the needs we seek to fulfill. In the beginning come Technologies of Survival (think fire), then Technologies of Social Organization (think cathedral), then Technologies of Prosperity (think steam engine), then technologies of leisure (think TV), and finally Technologies of the Self (think Facebook, or Prozac).”


“One of the consequences is that, as we move to the top level of the innovation hierarchy, the inventions have less visible, less transformative effects. We’re no longer changing the shape of the physical world or even of society, as it manifests itself in the physical world. We’re altering internal states, transforming the invisible self. Not surprisingly, when you step back and take a broad view, it looks like stagnation – it looks like nothing is changing very much.”

Source: Rough Type

Found via The Big Picture


Below is a chart of the 50 biggest companies that spent the most on R&D – courtesy of the The 2013 EU Industrial R&D Scoreboard.

I was a little surprised to see Volkswagen at the top.  I was also surprised to see Apple come in at #46.  I suppose it is more expensive to make advancements on large durable goods like cars than consumer hardware & software (but Microsoft is #3…).  It’s also worth noting that this only shows how much was spent – not how much was gained or returned on that investment.  For many this could be a case of “all thrust and not vector”.the 2013 eu industrial r&d investment scoreboard


Found via Business Insider