A look at developments in the financial markets over the last week or so.

The more confidence I have in each one of my stock picks, the fewer companies I need to own in my portfolio to feel comfortable.
– Joel Greenblatt

Featured Article

The Shape of Things to Come – how an industrial designer became Apple’s greatest product
A profile on Jony Ives, head of design at Apple. The piece provides great insight into Apple and how it became the most valuable company in the world.

Companies

The Shape of Things to Come – how an industrial designer became Apple’s greatest product
A profile of Jony Ives, head of design at Apple. The piece provides  great insight into the company and how it has become the most valuable company in the world.

Wal-Mart to increase hourly wages for thousands of store associates
On Monday, Walmart announced a package of changes to its conditions of employment, including wage increases. Walmart is the world’s largest private employer and America’s second largest employer behind the Federal Government. The compensation changes will cost the company $1 billion. Apart from the benefits to Walmart employees, here’s a look at what this announcement means for the rest of America.

Postmates Picks Up $35M In Series C From Spark Capital
Postmates is a US on-demand delivery service focusing on under-an-hour service.  It recently raised another $35 million in funding as the on-demand economy continues to heat up – think Uber, Airbnb and even Amazon.
…the latest deal, which valued the company between $150 million and $200 million, closed within the last month.

Robot dog ‘Spot’ shows off agility – video
Think of the possibilities.
Google subsidiary Boston Dynamics reveals its new robot dog named Spot. The four-legged robot has an electric motor and is agile enough to walk, run and stay upright when kicked.

Markets

Greece averts bankruptcy and softens austerity in last-ditch deal
Here’s one perspective on the deal and the events that led to it.
Greece has secured a four-month reprieve from eurozone creditors at a last-ditch summit in Brussels, heading off imminent default and a traumatic rupture of monetary union.

Low cost alternative to JSE on the cards
South Africa may soon have its second licensed stock exchange, this one catering to the over-the-counter (OTC) market.
What is the over-the-counter (OTC) market?

Breakthrough Technologies 2015
Not all breakthroughs are created equal. Some arrive more or less as usable things; others mainly set the stage for innovations that emerge later, and we have to estimate when that will be. But we’d bet that every one of the milestones on this list will be worth following in the coming years.

Investing

The Biggest Threat To Your Portfolio
Keep calm and carry on.
The biggest threat to your portfolio is you. China is not threatening your portfolio, nor is the price of oil or the level of the Fed Funds rate. What’s threatening your portfolio is the way in which you may react to any of these items, plain and simple. Your emotions and the actions you take during times of increased volatility or drawdown will ultimately have more impact on your long-term returns than any exogenous thing that may come along.

Related:
Avoiding Stupidity Is Easier Than Seeking Brilliance
The point is that most of us are amateurs but we refuse to believe it.

Long Reads

The Riddle of Tampa Bay
Harold and Jay Bowen—who alone have managed billions for Tampa’s police and firefighters for forty years—may be two of the greatest stock pickers of all time. So why don’t they act like it?

Degrees don’t matter anymore, skills do
People misunderstand the past and imagine a dystopian future, not realizing that each generation is smarter than the last.

What Do the Words You Use Say About You?
How much does your vocabulary determine your success? A lot.

Chart of the Week

Public and Scientists’ Views on Science and Society

Image source: ritholtz.com

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One thought on “Weekly market round-up: 23 February 2015

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