This week’s highlights:  Hacking Public Speaking, Where the Market Is, and Big Sugar

Fifteen on Friday – Issue 314

Welcome to the New Year,

I hope your holidays were enjoyable.  Here in Nashville, things continue to remain wet.  December saw almost 5.5 inches of rain fall, and another 0.5 inches already in January.  Fingers crossed for a sunny weekend to dry things out.

If you find yourself bored next Tuesday morning, I am speaking at the Nashville Exit Planning Institute’s January Meeting (event registration here).  EPI is networking group of advisors to business owners from a range of disciplines including law, accounting, finance, etc.  The topic for the day will be looking at market cycles and how we respond, if at all.

We are testing out a slightly different format for the newsletter this week – highlighting in particular one article per section.  Would love your feedback on how we can continue to improve.

Best wishes for your 2019,

David


Food for Thought:

Top Read of the Week: Hacking Public Speaking: Do You Talk Funny?  David Nihill, the Irish-born best-selling author of “Do You Talk Funny?” went from being deathly afraid of standing in front of an audience, to founding FunnyBizz Conference, regularly performing stand-up routines, and finishing runner-up in NPR’s “The Moth” US story telling competition.

Why It Matters:  Public speaking is consistently listed among people’s greatest fears.  Nihill, in a funny and encouraging talk to the folks at Google, speaks about how he faced his fear and found an unlikely source with great insight into becoming a great public speaker, stand-up comedians.

Consider as well:

  1. VanityFair – “I See Him As A Modern-Day Pablo Escobar”: Inside Bill Browder’S War Against Putin  In a series of revealing new interviews, Putin’s public enemy No. 1 offers scintillating details about his investigation into Russian financial malfeasance, running for his life, and the Helsinki fallout.
  2. LSV – Small is the next big thing in retail.  Take a walk down any Main St in America, and you will likely stroll past a number of independent retailers.
  3. Engadget – Apple knows the age of yearly iPhone upgrades is over.
  4. Atrium – The Founder’s Guide to Understanding Investors

Business/Economics:

Top Read of the Week: Glad that’s over, or is it?  We know markets tend to surprise investors just when they begin to rely on a particular pattern. The explanation for the December and fourth quarter market malaise, however, is not that simple.

Why It Matters:  So this is admittedly self-serving, but as we do each quarter, here at Woodmont, we published our synopsis and view of the market this week.  In 5 short pages, we condense down a quarter’s worth of market action and offer our view of where things stand.  It is non-technical and acronym light, so anyone can read.

Consider as well:

  1. VanityFair – “I See Him As A Modern-Day Pablo Escobar”: Inside Bill Browder’S War Against Putin  In a series of revealing new interviews, Putin’s public enemy No. 1 offers scintillating details about his investigation into Russian financial malfeasance, running for his life, and the Helsinki fallout.
  2. LSV – Small is the next big thing in retail.  Take a walk down any Main St in America, and you will likely stroll past a number of independent retailers.
  3. Engadget – Apple knows the age of yearly iPhone upgrades is over.
  4. Atrium – The Founder’s Guide to Understanding Investors

Culture/Tech/Science:

Top Read of the Week: Here’s How A Colorado Dentist Became Big Sugar’s Worst Nightmare  For decades, companies worked to cast doubt on whether sugar harms — until Cristin Kearns started digging up the dirt.

Why It Matters:  By no means the first lengthy piece on sugar (see also 2011’s NYT Is Sugar Toxic?), this one continues to explore the dangers of high levels of sugar consumption.  What is unique in this article is the additional research from within sugar producers about the dangers of their own product that is just starting to see the light of day.

Consider as well:

  1. NYMag – Listening to Estrogen  “Hormones have always been a third rail in female mental health. They may also be a skeleton key.”  An fascinating look at the relationship between estrogen and schizophrenia.
  2. RollingStone – The Fall and Rise of M. Night Shyamalan   After his first run of hits dried up, Hollywood left the director for dead. But that was just the beginning of his story
  3. ProPublica – If You’re Over 50, Chances Are the Decision to Leave a Job Won’t be Yours  A new data analysis by ProPublica and the Urban Institute shows more than half of older U.S. workers are pushed out of longtime jobs before they choose to retire, suffering financial damage that is often irreversible.
  4. Ringer – The NFL’s Analytics Revolution Has Arrived  “Football is still well behind baseball and basketball when it comes to embracing advanced metrics, but teams have made significant progress in recent years. Those who do not adapt will be left behind.”