Most of us live in a bubble and that is ok, however it also means your views are shaped by the bubble and when they are shaped by a bubble they will be distorted. Some small ways to look outside the bubble is to read, to be involved with community groups which try to do good in the community. Often times the community groups can lead to connections and getting to know more people who live in bubbles of their own. An important reason is to look outside the bubble is to look at back issues of Fortune 500, which companies were on the list when you first started investing? which companies are on the list now? notice some changes, did you change your investing to match the new lists?
If you are reading, one book which was read recently was Non Obvious – Megatrends by Rohit Bhargava published by Ideal Press Publishing, 2020. There are many views of what will be the trends of next year? event next quarter? and just because you know which trend there will be, it is harder to predict what company will take advantage of the trend to make money and pay dividends. However you should try and Mr. Bhargava notes the 5 mindsets of non-obvious thinkers are Be Observant – see what others miss; Be Fickle – learn to move on; Be Elegant – craft beautiful ideas; Be Thoughtful – take time to think and Be Curious – always ask why?
When you have embrace some trends – you can Engage Your Customers – inspire more sales and greater customer loyalty; Evolve Your Strategy – embrace disruption and prepare for the future; Develop Your Career – build your personal brand and propel your reputation; Strengthen Your Culture – improve your engagement and recruiting and Share Your Story – make your marketing and sales messages more relevant.
One theme will be Big Data and how it is used. An example for the book is Chinese insurance giant Ping An. In China there are very few landline phones or the country uses cellphones. Ping An spent at least 3 years perfecting its AI based Superfast Onsite Investigation claims system. If a driver is involved in an accident, they take their app from the phone and scan the car, the app matches the damage against a database of 25 million parts used in 60,000 different makes and models of cars sold in China. The system calculates the cost of parts and labor to fix that damage in more than 140,000 garages across China. The app includes a facial recognition process that reads consumer expressions to detect possible lying and potentially fraudulent claims. In its first year of operation, the system helped settle 7 million claims and saved the company over $750 million.
For the customer the benefits include: the decision process is decreased in time; which garage the customer takes the vehicle to will be in the price range of the app; and if garages are more than the quote, the company could say we do not deal with them.
Linking to dividend paying stocks, when you own them it is entirely possible to only have to review your portfolio every month or quarter or 6 months because you want to know are the companies profitable and are they still paying a dividend and is the dividend in my account? if the answer is yes, then you do not have to do much tinkering with your portfolio. However, if you read the story about Ping An and asked does my insurance company do that? if the answer is yes, then you have a good idea you should stay with it. If no, then why not? Could the insurance company use the system of Ping An using your country’s data and gain market share? When the internet was started, Microsoft asked in commercials where do you what to go? or what are your curious about? hopefully there is always something you are curious about.
There are more questions than answers, till the next time – to raising questions.