The best of the week’s money reads.
I was sad to see Steve Jobs finally throw in the towel this week on his ability to run Apple, the company he first founded and later saved.
Over the past few years, Jobs has led one of the greatest companies the world will ever see, produced peerless products (I haven’t bought a non-Apple computer since the Amiga!), fought cancer, and seemed to be having a whale of a time throughout.
There’s many lessons from Jobs’ life that I wish could inspire my day-to-day living as much as they do when I first encounter them.
But perhaps his most universally inspiring message was the simple one he gave to a class of US graduates:
“When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.” It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”
Steve Jobs is 56 and his net worth is at least $8 billion, but that hasn’t saved him from the random mutation of his cells. He is an artist who happens to have the technical foresight of Thomas Edison and the business acumen of Henry Ford. Or maybe he’s Bill Gates with an eye for colour.
He’s also a charismatic leader that can rally his people around him despite being difficult to work with, or even obnoxious.
Most importantly, Jobs can say “no, that’s not good enough” and demand a prototype is improved. Such an obsession on quality is incredibly rare. It is the difference between Apple and its rivals, and the difference between capitalist flair and bureaucracy (aka Nokia).
The blog Abnormal Returns has posted a huge list of Steve Jobs links if you want more. The tone of most of the coverage is a bit creepy. It’s as if he’s already dead and beatified, which must be unnerving even for Jobs.
It might also be intimidating for his successor, Tim Cook. Still, to take his mind off it the new CEO has been given one million Apple shares, worth £235 million at today’s price.
It’s a fortune, but if he is truly Steve Jobs’ heir then that’s irrelevant. Jobs hasn’t sold a single share in Apple since he returned in 1997.
From the blogs
- Save aggressively, invest conservatively – The Finance Buff
- How to learn a foreign language without spending – Get Rich Slowly
- Safe withdrawal rates and life expectancy – Oblivious Investor
- What if the stock market was a bond? – Crossing Wall Street
- Index fund pollution… – Rick Ferri
- …some ETF firms even planning own indices! – Abnormal Returns
- Shoot first and ask later? – Investing Caffeine
- Get rich with non-financial investments – Simple Living in Suffolk
- Monthly review – Value Hunter UK
- The construction industry is only sleeping – UK Value Investor
- Dread risk: Investing outside the goldfish bowl – The Psy-Fi Blog
- Market volatility and the ‘rebalancing frown’ – Vanguard
- 7 things I learned from the first blogger – James Altucher
Deal of the week: You get £50 credit back from Amazon when you buy a bargain priced Panasonic HD camcorder.
Mainstream media money
- The American economy’s prospects – The Economist
- When smart people are bad employees [from March] – Forbes
- Can Grantham profit from ecological mayhem? – The New York Times
- Are 7% real returns attainable? – The Motley Fool
- Pensions: The big problem is we’re living too long – FT
- Gold run not over yet – Merryn/FT
- Do your homework on BTL for students – FT
- Victoria Stapleton, founder of Brora: My first million – FT
- Consumers save £51 billion a year with voucher codes – Telegraph
- Dutch pensions: 50% higher returns than ours – Telegraph
- Invest in cash flow rich dividend payers through the noise – Independent
- New ways to get on the housing ladder – Independent
- Home exchange – cut the cost of your holiday – The Guardian
- Fund manager-speak translated – The Guardian
Like this roundup? Subscribe to get it weekly!