What We’re Reading

Here are a few good articles the Collaborative Fund team came across this week.

Buying time

This is important:

As Nick Murray once said, “No matter how much money you have, if you’re still worried, you aren’t wealthy.”

Yet people aren’t really any busier today than people were in the past. We now spend an average of 4 hours more per week engaging in leisure activities than people did in the 1960s while work hours have remained relatively constant. We constantly stress about work but it’s basically an illusion that we work more today than people did in the past (smart phones don’t help with this illusion).

It’s almost like people are trying to look busy for the sake of saying they’re busy. It’s a form of signaling.

Technology

A frightening take on what smartphones are doing to a generation:

Around 2012, I noticed abrupt shifts in teen behaviors and emotional states. The gentle slopes of the line graphs became steep mountains and sheer cliffs, and many of the distinctive characteristics of the Millennial generation began to disappear. In all my analyses of generational data—some reaching back to the 1930s—I had never seen anything like it.

Evolution

A great interview with Sir Ronald Cohen:

My view about capitalism is that it has evolved greatly in the course of my career. We’ve seen, of course, the age of entrepreneurship. When I started in the firm in 1969, big companies were the thing. But it was obvious that small was going to be beautiful, because innovation was more easily and more successfully carried out by smaller organizations. I realized that the gap between rich and poor, which I thought would be helped by entrepreneurship, was actually being exacerbated—not that you didn’t create a lot of jobs and you didn’t make economies higher growth through entrepreneurship and innovation—but somehow, the way the capital was being allocated meant that the rewards to capital were much greater than the rewards to labor, and the gap between rich and poor got bigger and bigger.

Advice

A good profile of Betterment and its CEO Jon Stein:

“The sticky relationship is your assets,” he says. “There’s a lot of configuration and setup that goes into that, a lot of ongoing guidance and advice. And then, [there are] all the peripheral things come through that advisor. They’ll refer you out to an estate planner, or a mortgage banker, or whatever you need, but that advisor is the hub. And that’s where I think we’re best positioned to the be financial institution for the next 100 years. Because we’re starting with advice and frankly I think banks are in this problem spot where they’re not really giving advice. And advice is ascendant.”

Activism

Changing times for founders looking to maintain control:

The keepers of the S&P 500 took a stand against public companies with multiple classes of shares, saying they would bar newcomers with such setups from their flagship index. The policy change, announced by S&P Dow Jones Indices, rejects potential eligibility for Snap Inc.as well as Blue Apron Holdings Inc.,both of which went public this year.

Turnaround

A wonderful story about the brute-force turnaround of Domino’s Pizza:

Here is the difference between the former busboy and the professor. I have never heard the pizza guy use the word ‘thus.’ He was too busy delivering with no time to pontificate.

When he was brand new to the CEO job, Doyle said at that time, “We think that going out there and being this honest really breaks through to people in a way that most advertising does not.”

Have a good weekend.


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