- John Hunter
- professional life
- John Hunter
- professional life
- John Hunter
- John Hunter
- Huge Growth in USA Corporate Debt from 2005 to 2020
There are many problems with the extremely low interest rates available in decade since the too-big-to-fail financial crisis. The interest rates seem to me to be artificially sustained by massive central bank actions for 12 years now.
Extraordinarily low rates encourage businesses to borrow money, after all how hard is it to invest in something that will return the business more than a few percent a year (that they can borrow at). Along with the continued efforts by the central banks to flood the economy with money any time there is even a slowdown in growth teaches companies to not worry about building a business that can survive bad times. Just borrow and if necessary borrow more if you are having trouble then just borrow more.
- Retirement Portfolio Allocation for 2020
The markets continue to provide difficult options to investors. In the typical market conditions of the last 50 years I think a sensible portfolio allocation was not that challenging to pick. I would choose a bit more in stocks than bonds than the commonly accepted strategy. And I would choose to put a bit more overseas and in real estate.
But if that wasn’t done and even something like 60% stocks and 40% bonds were chosen it would seem reasonable (or 60% stocks 25% bonds and 15% money market – I really prefer a substantial cushion in cash in retirement). Retirement planning is fairly complex and many adjustments are wise for an individual’s particular situation (so keep in mind this post is meant to discuss general conditions today and not suggest what is right for any specific person).
This post was written before #covid19 became the enormous economic clamity it has become. Based on the poor preparation to fight Covid19 by the USA and Europe I sold some stocks and reduced global exposure and emeriging market exposure. I didn't reduce it to zero or anything close to that, but as I say I am usually overweight stocks and I had reduced how much I was overweight due to high stock valuations and with the likely Covid 19 problems I further reduced stocks to make my portfolio probably even a little bit underweight stocks (but still over 50% stocks).
I am more active than most people should be with their investments (I think it works for me but maybe I should be less active too, I just pay much more attention than most people and feel I can make some adjustments that are sensible.).
- Using Incentives to Guide Social System Improvements
... In Stockholm people were against congestion pricing (70% to 30%). This isn’t surprising they see a new tax that only is a cost. They don’t understand that the system performance is going to improve – the cost will provide a benefit. Leadership is required to push forward when the benefits are not obvious to everyone. Once people saw that congestion was greatly decreased 70% supported congestion pricing.
- Tencent Gaming
Tencent is one of the stocks in my 10 stocks for 10 years portfolio. In fact it is my largest holding (when you consider that Tencent shares owned by Naspers. Some others have performed better since my reboot of the portfolio in August of 2018: Apple (from 225 to 318) and Danaher (from 103 to 162) and Naspers (33 to 34, which might not seem so great but 2 spinoffs provide another 15) but I still like Tencent a great deal for the next 8 to 10 years.
Tencent has quite a few huge global businesses. One of the most promising areas is Tencent Gaming. Tencent has ownership in many of the largest computer gaming companies globally...
- Hey Siri, You Can Do Better
Software testing is more than just automated testing. While checking that specific details work as expected in specific situations with automated testing is very useful it is far from sufficient way to test if software will delight users.
software testing also requires thoughtful analysis of the experience of the user and how that is at risk with the current iteration of the software (Software Testers Are Test Pilots). Automated testing is critical as you can create checks for thousands of situations to run extremely quickly each time any changes are made to the software. But it is not sufficient. Many situations can only be explored and experienced by a thinking software tester that uses the software and thinks about how a user might react and how that user could be confused or disappointed by the existing user experience.
- Business 901 Podcast with Me: Deming’s Management Ideas Today
- Popular Posts on the Curious Cat Management Improvement Blog in 2019
- Management Improvement System Flavors
There are many useful concepts, tools and practices within what people refer to as agile software development. And the same can be said for lean. But they are distinct approaches (the links in this post flush out this idea more for those interested in learning more on that topic). That isn’t to say an organization cannot design their own solution that adopts ideas found in each approach. In fact doing so for software development makes sense in my opinion.
- Photos from my trip to New York City
- The World’s Smallest Mobile Color Printer
Cool gadget: PrinCube is a tiny handheld, portable printer: it fits in the palm of your hand. It works over wifi with your phone to easily upload any text, image, or design and instantly print onto virtually any object or surface at the touch of a button.
It makes precise prints on virtually any materials including paper, metal, textiles, plastics, wood, leather and other building and artistic materials.
- Bill Hunter and the Quality Movement
In the presentation George Box discusses interesting student design of experiments projects; read more on those efforts in 101 Ways to Design an Experiment, or Some Ideas About Teaching Design of Experiments.
George's closing statement:
We carry in our hearts the inspiring memory of not only a scholar but a man that was resourceful, warm, skillful, courageous, optimistic, helpful, enterprising and generous. His career was whole and balanced in a way that is rare and as we grieve his death we also celebrate the life of a remarkable man.
- Deming on Management: Psychology
Within Deming’s SoPK the psychology component includes an appreciation of:
- how will people are influenced by management policies (for example, targets or a culture of blaming individuals)
- the innate desire people have to take pride in their work
- how people resist change (and how to reduce that resistance)
- confirmation bias (one way our brains can lead us astray)
- what drives people to behave as they do
- and much more - continue reading the rest of the post to learn more...
- Alley Spring Mill Trail, Missouri
The Alley Spring Mill is in the Ozark National Scenic Riverway (part of the National Park system). The mill itself looks wonderful next to the pond and also has some interesting details inside.
Corn and wheat was loaded at the ground level of the building and moved up to the top via the tiny buckets driven by the water wheel. Then the grain was filtered and ground using the water wheel as the source of power (moving up via the mini bucket elevators and down shoots to the machines on the ground level in sequence)...
- How to Successfully Lead Change Efforts
In order to lead efforts to improve the management of an organization understanding how people will react to change is critical. For that reason I have written about change management often on this blog since I started publishing it in 2004.
In, Why Do People Fail to Adopt Better Management Methods?, I wrote:
It seems that if there were better ways to manage, people would adopt those methods. But this just isn’t the case; sometimes better methods will be adopted but often they won’t. People can be very attached to the way things have always been done. Or they can just be uncomfortable with the prospect of trying something new.
Leading change efforts requires paying attention to the existing conditions: the culture, the motivation to adopt this change and/or the motivation to resist it, the history of change where the change is being attempted and the reasons the change is desired (by at least you and hopefully others). And then you need to build a case for the change and manage the process.
- Human Resources in the Post Deming Era
There are many ways in which the management of our organizations needs to improve (understanding how to use data effectively, systems thinking…) and one of those important areas is in managing people. Managers spend far too little time learning about the existing conditions the people in the organization face, coaching those employees and working on improving the management system to help employees do great work.
Curious Cat blogs
Sites I Manage
- Good Process Improvement Practices
- How to Get a New Management Strategy, Tool or Concept Adopted
- Building a Great Software Development Team
- Using Quality to Develop an Internet Resource
- Encouraging Curiosity in Kids
- Purpose of an Organization
- How to Effectively Use of the PDSA Improvement Cycle
- Financial Market Meltdown
- Economic Strength Through Technology Leadership
- The Toyota Way - Two Pillars
- Diplomacy and Science Research
- Dangers of Forgetting the Proxy Nature of Data
- Awesome Cat Cam