Why There Won’t Be Another Success Like George Soros

George Soros has been in the news quite a bit lately. He has opined that the European Union may collapse under the weight of the refugee crisis, the terrorist attacks and the tenuous relationship with Russia. He has similar dire predictions for China’s economy, providing a wide foundation for the belief that the world is heading toward a tumultuous time.

As one of the wealthiest men in the world, Soros has a lot of sway. His track record on Marketwatch as an investor is the stuff of legend, averaging annual returns of 30% for a span of over three decades. The only person who really matches up with his achievements over the long haul is Warren Buffett.

Buffett had a similar run, but once the dotcom bubble burst in 2000, Buffett’s numbers fell. Over 50 years, Buffet’s average annual returns are at 21%. That’s still an incredible achievement, but the declines in the new millennium have caused many to wonder what changed.

There is a theory put forth by the late Stephen Jay Gould that applies not only to finance, but to all aspects of life. It’s pretty simple. There are now more people in the world, there is more accumulated information, and there is more technology available. This means that the average hedge fund manager knows much more than a manager from the 60’s knew. It is much more difficult to stand out from your peers.

50% of trading now involves the use of carefully developed algorithms designed by a horde of quantitative analysts. There are TV channels entirely devoted to analysis, tips, and instant information on all aspects of the business.

What makes things even more difficult is the strike teams of analysts at places like Goldman Sachs who are hammering down any slight bit of pricing inefficiency. These groups are efficiently making what George Soros did utterly impossible for the modern trader.

When George Soros got started in the 60’s, he considered himself a “one-eyed king among the blind”. He alone was focusing on European securities. He had no competition whatsoever, and he could reap all of the rewards as long as he didn’t get overly ambitious.

These days, not only do traders know about Soros’ methods, they’ve studied his book, the seminal “The Alchemy of Finance”. Any trader can use the knowledge gleaned from decades of hard work and create for themselves a fantastic foundation to grow from.

These days, there are traders like John Paulson who will have a great year and make a fortune on a legendary trade, but they are shooting stars. Nobody has been able to have successful run over the course of the last 15 years.

A trader can still make great returns on a relatively small scale. But making great returns on billion dollar deals is becoming almost impossible at this point. There’s simply too much analysis.

This is why George Soros is a product of his time. His feats will likely never be repeated. He is sort of like the Babe Ruth of the finance world. The standard of comparisons may shift over time, but the name will always be there as the one to emulate to truly become a financial success.

Andy Wirth and Olympic Valley Incorporation

Lake Tahoe’s communities found in its northern shores have not had an easy time over the past years. A drought that can be described as epic took a huge toll on the winter resorts found there and this affected the small businesses that depended on them badly. Apart from this natural challenge, there was also a political one; the incorporation battle over the Olympic Valley. This valley is home to North America’s terrain of the most iconic winter sports as well as the Squaw Valley Resort. Andy Wirth, CEO and President of Squaw Valley Ski Holdings believes there will be a relief on two fronts. He stated that the last four years have been tough but Mother Nature had favored them with storms that have come early this season. This aspect combined with temperatures that are cold have enabled Squaw Valley and other resorts based in the Tahoe-area to open much earlier than they are accustomed to in the past decade. Another beautiful thing is that the persons who were supporting the incorporation of the Olympic Valley have since formally withdrawn their incorporation efforts.

Squaw Valley Ski Holdings strongly opposed the incorporation move and went ahead to spend quite a fortune in opposing this effort. Wirth argued that the move could have led to high taxes on businesses and residents in the area and also decreased service levels that the people are accustomed to like snow plowing and maintenance of roads. Mr. Wirth also held the view that if the efforts bore fruit, it would have isolated the Olympic Valley from the other communities in the North Shore with whom they pooled resources to deal with issues affecting the region. You can read the whole story as published in the Reno-Gazette Journal.

About Andy Wirth

Andy Wirth was born on July 25 1963 and he works in the hotel and mountain resort industry. Currently, he is the CEO and President of the Squaw Valley Ski Holdings. This is the parent company of Alpine Meadows and Squaw Valley ski resorts based in Olympic Valley.

Wirth has been involved in the hotel and mountain resort industry for a period of 25 years. His career started way back in 1986 at Steamboat Springs Resort. He held several leadership and marketing positions at Steamboat Ski & Resorts Corporation. In the year 2007, Wirth was appointed to the post of Intrawest’s Chief Marketing Officer and the Executive Vice president when Intrawest acquired Steamboat. He then joined Squaw Valley in 2010.

 

Recap story of Yeonmi Park

Twenty-two Yeonmi Park is striking. Small, slender, and beautiful with an infectious smile, no one can tell what she has been through. A famine survivor, a rape and trafficking victim, and a child-bride, all of these terrible events are part of her tale, the journey to her freedom.

Born in North Korea to a nurse and a civil servant, Yeonmi believed that her family was of what Americans would consider middle class. Her family would later come to realize that North Korea was a country of oppression and wanted more for themselves. Her father began to smuggle metal as a means of making extra money, funds that the family hoped would eventually deliver them to freedom. Yeonmi’s father was arrested and imprisoned, leaving Yeonmi’s mother to care for her two teenage daughters alone. 

Yeonmi’s mother knew that she had to get her daughters to freedom. Yeonmi’s sister, Eunmi, fled the country with assistance from friends while Yeonmi and her mother sought help from human smugglers. Yeonmi’s mother was raped just after they arrived in China and the teen herself became a victim of the sex slave trade. 

Yeonmi and her mother were freed after several years and followed a journey similar to the one before, except in the hopes of reaching South Korea. They were detained and threatened with deportation before they were sent to their desired destination. Adjusting to life in South Korea was difficult for the mother-daughter pair. They had their freedom, but they were uncertain of how to grasp it.

”I thought just having food was the happiest thing,” Yeonmi said on dailymail. “I did not know the word freedom.”

She and her mother made a living by working in shops and restaurants. They were reunited with their sister Eunmi, whom they believed to be deceased. Yeonmi enrolled in college, wrote an autobiography, and became a human rights advocate.

”North Korea should stop killing its people,” she said during an interview. “China needs to stop deporting North Korean refugees. They are just helping the country to kill people.”

Do you really know Bruce Levenson?

Who is Bruce Levenson? Is he merely the former owner of the Atlanta Hawks? An established journalist with the determination to shed light on the inner workings of an industry so often misunderstood by the common man? Or is he an astute businessman with a genuine concern for the well-being of others? The truth of the matter is that Mr. Bruce Levenson is all of these things and more. Born to a Jewish family in the hustle and bustle of the nation’s capital and raised in Chevy Chase, Maryland, Bruce Levenson has made a name for himself in the world of corporate America.

Eager to prove himself, Mr. Levenson co-founded the United Communications Group with Ed Peskowitz in 1977. Starting from humble beginnings in his basement, the two launched Oil Express, a newsletter focusing on the latest developments in the thriving oil industry. Before long the company had acquired a few other publications and even constructed their own database which included the Oil Price Information Service, a comprehensive source for petroleum pricing and news information. Add to this the fact that UCG was one of the first companies in the world to deliver up-to-the-minute information electronically and you will soon begin to realize that not only is Mr. Bruce Levenson on ucg equipped with an eye for opportunity, but he is also a visionary in any field he focuses his energies on.

In 2004, Levenson and Peskowitz formed the limited liability corporation Atlants Spirit LLC to purchase the Atlanta Hawks NBA team from Ted Turner’s Turner Broadcasting. During this time, Levenson served as the team’s managing partner and as a member of the NBA Board of Governors. Not only concerned with the daily operations of the NBA team, Bruce Levenson also sought to expand the team’s knowledge of one of the most horrific events in human history. Accompanied by his mother-in-law, a Holocaust survivor, the Levensons took the Hawks organization on a trip to the U.S Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C to better understand the opaque details surrounding the devastating period.

On top of all this, Levenson and his wife are largely active in a plethora of philanthropic organizations and charitable foundations. Whether providing an outlet for aspiring athletes or helping lower-income children pursue higher education, Bruce Levenson can certainly not be lumped into the growing group of cold, uncaring businessmen that are only concerned with the bottom line at the end of the day.

You Might Wish That Dog Food Was on Your Menu

Every dog owner is familiar with the look of longing that he or she will direct at the dinner table. But the Daily Herald recently reported on a surprising trend that might turn things around. The story begins with a tour of gourmet food. As many owners of such establishments do on occasion, one of the high powered executives took a quick bite of some of the food. He quickly remarked that the turkey tasted just like thanksgiving. And it’s not too hard to imagine a dog looking on in envy at that meal. But the twist is that the food is intended for a dog, and that this was a case of a human sampling high quality food that wasn’t intended for him. This might be surprising to some. But the article continues on to showcase just how common the trend of gourmet dog food has become. It’s really not so unusual these days for some of the ingredients in dog food to be something that people would look at with some envy. In fact, the slogan of a recent advertising campaign highlights that fact by boldly proclaiming “he’ll have what you’re having”. But high quality ingredients aren’t as new to the industry as many people assume. For example, a high quality dog food brand called Beneful has been adhering  on Amazon to that philosophy since the company’s very beginning. The intent was simply to create the best tasting and most nutritionally beneficial dog food possible. The company quickly realized that the same things that make a great meal for people would also apply to dogs. Beneful noted that humans and dogs alike preferred meals made with the freshest ingredients. But they also understood that any flavor in isolation is less than ideal. A person might like grains, but they wouldn’t want that as the sole item on their plate. Dogs are similar and enjoy a rich variety of flavor in their meals. As such, Beneful decided to create dog food which could combine the different flavors of their all natural ingredients to create something both delicious and healthy for people’s furry friends.