“Some of my ‘passive’ investments are giving me all sorts of headaches. Is it normal?”

2015-05d

Our passive investments should not keep us busy.  If they do, it normally implies that we misinterpreted the nature of the asset when the investment was made.

People end up with these ‘passive, busy assets’ – whether in the form of excess property, speculative business ventures or investments in side-line passions – when they allow emotion to dictate.  They are often led by the lifestyle appeal of these possessions, sometimes attracted to them because of the lure of excessive returns, occasionally swept into them by an ego trip, and easily tricked into them through social coercion.

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“What sits behind the success of businesses that dominate their market space?”

2015-04

We would highlight five universal characteristics:

There is constructive alignment in the behaviours of their employees.  These businesses get their people to work together and spontaneously serve the same cause.  This collaborative spirit is built on shared values and an embedded understanding of the reason why their clientele do business with them.  Employees are well-trained in these businesses, and proud brand representatives.  It starts with the correct appointments.

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“Are things really so bad in South Africa as the impression created by the general media?”

2014-12No.  South Africa has its challenges, but so has every country, even developed ones.

Our successes and qualities are unfortunately obscured by one-dimensional press coverage.  With the exception of a handful of intelligent and enlightening journalistic contributions, South Africa’s general media has become famous for dwelling on monotonous social narratives and extreme appraisals of reality.

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“Is it a good idea to financially incentivise my children to do well in their school exams?”

2014-09We know you mean well, but there are three caveats to this approach in encouraging performance.

Firstly, there is a danger that such a form of acknowledgement gradually erodes a child’s intrinsic motivation to achieve good results.  An exam should be a personal challenge with a very private connection between effort and reward – not an endeavour driven by external compensation.

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