My philosophy is that if I have any money I invest it in new ventures and not have it sitting around.
– Richard Branson

Featured article

Michael Mauboussin | “The Success Equation: Untangling Skill and Luck”

Companies

South African private equity firm Brait in £1.3bn Virgin Active takeover
Brait, led by chief executive John Gnodde, has paid around £680m for its 80 per cent stake. It values Virgin Active at £1.3bn, split between £870m in equity and £430m of debt.

Related

Virgin Active Group Results 2012 What does Google need on mobile?
… Google has gone from a world of almost perfect clarity – a text search box, a web-link index, a middle-class family’s home – to one of perfect complexity – every possible kind of user, device, access and data type. It’s gone from a firehose to a rain storm. But on the other hand, no-one knows water like Google.

Disney Says Verizon’s Bundle-Breaking Pay TV Plan Breaks Its Rules
About that Verizon plan to break up the pay-TV bundle into smaller bundles?

NEWS: SA businesses drop contracts over Israel
Over 20 South African businesses have terminated their contracts with G4S Security over its involvement in Israeli prisons and human rights abuses.

Discount Retailer T.J. Maxx Doesn’t Work the Way You Think
Suppliers purposefully create excess merchandise for the retailer, Fortune reports. These products are identical to what you would buy at department stores. T.J. Maxx produces merchandise, too. About 10 percent of its merchandise comes from in-house labels.

Markets

Administer with care
Low interest rates are squeezing banks’ profits. Higher ones may do the same.

No More Bets On Grexit
No one is interested in backing Greece to stay in the Eurozone until the end of the year, so we decided to pull the plug on the markets until either the decision to leave is taken, or the crisis point passes and a plan is put in place enabling the country to remain in.

Japan’s Creative, Ephemeral Homes
Buyers value brand-new, highly personalized houses—forget resales.

Investing

Michael Mauboussin | “The Success Equation: Untangling Skill and Luck”

The Quality of the Cash Flow from Operations Number
…what to consider when measuring the quality of the cash flow from operations.

Bear facts – Heed metrics that drive rather than those that are merely passengers
The genuinely scary aspect of this way of assessing the state of a market is that, unlike the number of days without a correction or the strength of a bull run, P/E ratios – and of course CAPE ratios – drive causation of subsequent market performance. Furthermore, if US equities did suffer a 10% correction, and one of Edwards’s arguments goes away, the market’s valuation would remain expensive.

Long reads

Scary Smart. Do intelligent people worry more?
…researchers found that students with more angst—for instance, those who agreed with survey statements like “I am always worrying about something”—scored higher on a verbal intelligence test.

Graph of the week

Where Your State Gets Its Money

Source: FiveThirtyEight
Source: FiveThirtyEight
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