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The Mystery Box

June 18, 2008 Comments off

I haven’t spoken much about television here so far. At all, really. Music videos sure. But not the TV.

Television has a bad reputation, but it’s not a lost medium, just a terribly misused one. TV has a lot of untapped potential, but a few series and shows are able to tap into the potential for using television to tell incredible stories.

The Documentary which has taken over the movie theatres in recent years has its home on television, And what is a documentary other than the telling of a true story?

Fiction shows also have their home here. I must now declare myself a fan of Buffy. So it goes.

This TED link is JJ Abrams, creator of Lost and Cloverfield, talking about what he does. This was posted five months ago, but better late than never right? Enjoy.

Oh, and the title isn’t allegorical. He really has a box.

Categories: Uncategorized

A Wonderful Company At A Fair Price by Brian McNiven

June 18, 2008 1 comment

McNiven has read Warren Buffet and been profoundly affected. I read this book expecting to find a straightforward guide to valuing a business effectively. Unfortunately that is not what I got.

Instead I had to read through pages filled with statements falling into two main areas; how Brian McNiven thinks companies should be valued, and what Brian McNiven thinks companies should be forced to do, to make it easier for him to value them according to his own way.

As a reader you don’t find out too much about how McNiven would value a company, he has a program to sell you that will do that for you. So, this book does not really set out to instruct, which is a great disappointment.

Where some cursory valuations are looked at, the examples used are so straightforward and unrealistic as to remove any meaning from the methods presented. Not a great touch there, Brian.

Rather than making statements about how the world ought to be, it is more constructive to create tools to handle the world as it is, while making positive changes where possible. That’s what I think anyway.

Value investing is all about the art of buying a dollar for sixty cents. A good book on value investing should help the reader towards a valuation methodology that will help him or her tell whether what is being valued at sixty cents by the market really is a dollar. This book does not do that.

McNiven has a more recent book than this, about value investing. Perhaps that does a better job than this.

The title suggests a comprehensive guide to valuing companies, and the book does not deliver.

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