Posts Tagged ‘advantage’

The most unique advantage that an individual can have

July 26, 2014
The most unique advantage that an individual can have is direct experience, especially to have endured unusual adversities and have learned from them all. The wisdom and maturity derived from real-life challenges is thousands of times more valuable than reading books, taking classes, passing tests, or obtaining degrees or licenses.
As an example, think of a case in which you were interested in getting instructions about what route to take to smoothly get from one place to another. You can request travel instructions from someone who has personally gone back and forth recently several times along the path you wish to take. They can offer reports of road conditions that are only a few hours old.

However, you might be skeptical of their lack of official credentials. Would you prefer to speak to a certified expert in travel who has never made that particular journey?

A particular expert is available who insists that around 15 years prior, they had studied a map of that general area and then were tested within a famous university to confirm approximately 3 details of what was on that map. The map itself was already 10 years old, making the contents of that map now 25 years old.

They received a passing grade on that test (which included many other items besides approximately 3 details about that map). They have a certificate on the wall that they earned through passing that test and many similar other tests.

They are also certified as an expert in travel by their local church (because they have interviewed over 100 people who have actually done some traveling, asking each of them 6 pre-formulated questions about their travels). They have never done any traveling themselves, mostly because they think traveling is generally a bad idea and not worth the risks and potential confusions and complications.

However, they would be happy to give you some advice and your insurance covers 80% of the fees for their service. Further, they display contempt for the idea of receiving advice on travel from anyone who is not an expert certified by their favorite denomination, which they passionately insist is the only valid authority for certifying expertise in travel.
In addition, they have co-authored 3 books on travel (cleverly titled “Why to never ever travel: part 1, 2, and 3”), plus they are personal friends with a famous celebrity. Further, they happen to be wearing the same color shirt as you and they are a huge fan of your favorite sports team (or at least one that you used to like about 15 years ago).

Considering all of this, how could you risk insulting them by even considering a conversation with anyone who does not have any official credentials? Unless you are actually interested in getting to your stated destination, then you have every reason to disregard the person with real-life expertise and instead have some tea with the certified travel expert and cancel your plans for that silly trip (which has not even by authorized by the oversight board of the local church)!

They have a catchy slogan, too. “We are the only experts in making oversights.”


the value of trend research

January 8, 2012
What’s the value of trend research?

Do you know how much of an advantage it is for your finances and your business if you position yourself to benefit from emerging trends? For instance, some investors noticed the rising risk in real estate markets by 2003. However, many of those that did not follow accurate forecasts lost hundreds of thousands of dollars because they did not invest in accurate forecasts and then follow those forecasts. For many people, hundreds of thousands of dollars is how much difference it can make to invest in accurate forecasts and follow them.

Who publicly forecast the following major developments first:
J.R. Fibonacci or Gerald Celente?

 who 1st                 when     who else              when             

real estate prices will plummet J.R.                 Mar03     
Gerald Celente       Dec04
credit crisis causing financial meltdown 
J.R.   Mar03     Gerald Celente     Dec06
global fuel prices will spike      J.R.                 Nov04      Gerald Celente     never?   
online advertising will pass TV The Guardian  Sep09      J.R.                     Dec11

In 2009, spending for online advertising in the UK passed spending for TV advertising for the first time. In 2010, spending for online advertising in the US passed spending for newspaper advertising for the first time.
How much are you investing in where the global economy is going? By the way, the global economy actually did not decline much if any. However, it did shift significantly. Some places had unusual declines (like Arizona and Greece) while others did relatively well (like Arabia and Alaska and Alberta, which are all major oil-producing regions).

So, there was a sudden redistribution of affluence away from the US and EU toward places like China and the OPEC nations. Also, as fuel prices have been rising, there has been a shift of business away from time-consuming shopping at retail stores toward shopping online and of course online advertising.
How about this? 100 years ago, no one did business over the phone. Either people mailed a paper check or paid in person, right? However, now there are TV infomercials and entire TV channels dedicated to getting people to place orders by phone. 100 years ago, there were almost no phones and certainly no way to make a payment over the phone!

Now, think back to how much business you have done on the phone in the last ten years (from ordering flowers to paying monthly bills to buying plane tickets). Consider that you may have spent more money on the phone in just the last year than you spent on the phone in the entire 20th century. Well, now consider that in some industries, online transactions already exceed not only phone orders, but in-person retail purchases, too!

Even just 10 years from now, most business may be conducted through the internet in some places. Many businesses now do not even accept checks, but only electronic payments by debit or credit. In other words,  some do not even accept cash… because they do not have a physical retail store.

Consider some of the leading businesses of recent years: Microsoft, Google, eBay and Amazon. Have you ever walked in to one of their stores? Have you ever even seen a store for them?

Maybe you do not know yet how much money people have spent with those businesses online. Not only are people moving from checks toward cash and from cash toward credit and debit cards, but many of the fastest-growing businesses are moving from cashiers to online order forms and electronic shopping carts.

As for the growing market in online advertising, the fastest growing type of online advertising is currently online videos, (up 300% in a single year in the UK) while websites set up for display on the handheld screens of mobile phones may be the next wave of growth. Where will your business be?

Of the time that people in the US spend on media, the total of that time that goes to newspapers has fallen to 4%, but newspapers still receive 15% of the advertising revenue. Overall in the US, people more than twice as much time on the internet using mobile devices than they do with newspapers, but only a tiny fraction of all marketing budgets in the US currently target internet users accessing websites by mobile phone.

100 years ago, there was no TV advertising, and no radio advertising, and almost no phone book advertising. Advertising was mostly in newspapers and magazines.

In 100 years, none of those may be major forms of advertising. They all may be swallowed by internet advertising.

In 2012, online advertising in the US is expected to be triple what it was in 2006. That will be more than twice the amount spent in the US on radio advertising or magazine advertising.

In 2012, where will your business be? Will your business be where people are taking their business? How much of an advantage will it be for your finances and your business if you follow accurate forecasts of emerging trends and position yourself to be one of those who benefit most from the ongoing transition?

The founder of the Trend Research Institute, J.R. Fibonacci, was one of the first to forecast the spiking of fuel prices globally, the resulting global credit crisis and the resulting declines in real estate and stocks in the US, EU, and Japan. In 2012, for the first time ever, he and his staff will be offering brief introductory consultations to small business owners for them to be clear about the emerging opportunities and risks as the global economy continues to shift. To schedule your live videochat session now, simply contact me.

an absolute advantage: the intelligence of experience

December 21, 2011
1906 Patent for Wireless Telegraphy

1906 Patent for Wireless Telegraphy (Photo credit: Wesley Fryer)

The Scientific Method

The Scientific Method (Photo credit: afagen)

An “absolute advantage” involves being the best at something. While other advantages (like competitive prices or convenience) are valuable in business, they may be irrelevant.
For instance, consider a technological gap like between telephones and telegraphs. Telegraphs might be cheaper than telephones, but telephones have an absolute advantage over telegraphs, right?
Now, do you know what AT&T stands for? If not, and you asked 10 people what AT&T stands for, and the first nine said “no,” would you give up and not ask the tenth person or even ignore a single answer of “yes” or even (“maybe”)?
AT&T stands for American Telephone & Telegraph. They may have had a lot of business in both categories at one time, but that time has passed. They had to adapt to the reality that the faster they stopped working with telegraphs and concentrated exclusively on telephones, the better for their business. Now, much of their business is mobile devices like cell phones.
Let’s review a few more absolute advantages. The examples will cover physique, relief of health complaints, and investments.
Dr. Doug McGuff, M.D. and the famous marathoner Mark Sisson are among the advocates of “high intensity training.” Requiring only 15 minutes per week, their methods produce faster and safer results than lengthy weight-lifting routines and cardiovascular aerobics so popular in gyms today. Their methods are designed around the latest scientific research on high-efficiency cellular metabolism and muscle-building.
Dr. McGuff and Mr. Sisson are also advocates of radically effective diets. By reducing or eliminating the foods that produce unhealthy weight gain, cardiovascular distress, and hormonal chaos, they focus specifically on the fuels that the human body is designed to use. However, even they do not go as far as Aajonus Vanderplanitz. He is among many people who have been treated for diabetes, cancer, and autism, but while conventional treatments were total failures for him, he experienced total relief from all of those ailments simply by altering his diet.
Now, let’s imagine that ten specialists offered services relating to promoting health. If 9 of them said that they do not understand a particular physiological development, but they do know some ways to relieve some symptoms temporarily, those results may be attractive.
However, what if 1 of them said that they do understand a particular physiological development, that they personally had the same issue and know a method that resulted in them not having that issue? What if they added that they understand the physiology of why certain people who perform certain behaviors never get that condition, why certain behaviors are very likely to result in that condition, and why replacing particular behaviors in particular ways consistently results in specific predictable changes?
Interval Training

Interval Training (Photo credit: Greatist)

What has more credibility and relevance: nine people who admit ignorance of something or one who offers to demonstrate competence? For instance, if 9 people say that they do not know what AT&T stands for and 1 person claims to know, how relevant are the 9 who admit ignorance? Does the admitted ignorance of 9 out of 10 change the relevance of the one who claims knowledge?
How about this: I ask 10 people what AT&T stands for and 9 answer “yes,” but this time only 1 of them answers “no.” Does the admitted ignorance of 1 out of 10 change the relevance of the fact that the other 9 agree and offer evidence to back up their claims? What about if 9 out of 10 admit ignorance? Do any number of admissions of ignorance change the relevance of even a single claim of the capacity to demonstrate competence?
9 people who admit not knowing what AT&T stands for do not change that AT&T stands for something. 9 people who admit not knowing what AT&T stands for also do not change what AT&T stands for.
Likewise, 9 people who admit ignorance in how to address a medical condition labeled incurable (such as scurvy) do not change the physiological sequence that results in the medical condition labeled scurvy. Either there is an actual sequence that produces the medical conditions known as scurvy, cancer, diabetes, and autism or there is no such thing as any of those conditions. If there is an actual metabolic sequence that produces particular medical conditions, then any individual may or may not admit ignorance or offer to demonstrate competence in relation to it.
Also, if 9 people are not familiar with high intensity training and the results it consistently produces or the scientific logic of how, so what? 9 people who admit ignorance (or demonstrate it through resignation or cynicism) do not change the physiological sequence that results in the biochemical results of a particular increase in muscle tissue.
So, while the vast majority of health practitioners may presume that such diagnoses as diabetes, cancer, and autism are currently incurable, many researchers suggest that a lack of competence in physiology by a physician is not proof that something cannot ever be cured. Even the existence of research to find pharmaceutical “cures” is itself evidence that what may be called “incurable” by most physicians at a particular time is recognized as possible to cure. However, regulatory organizations funded by certain commercial interests may do their best to advance the commercial interests of their funders, which may include promoting the idea that the best response to a particular medical condition is a particular treatment that is extremely profitable to the ones providing it. Therefore, we might say that it is not that Vitamin C cures “scurvy,” but that the conventional use of the diagnostic label “scurvy” was simply a sloppy or negligent use of language.
Do we “cure” an empty gas tank by adding fuel? No, adding fuel to an empty tank just allows for a vehicle to move.
Would we say that the results or symptoms of having no fuel are caused by the presence of air in the fuel tank? No, we do not cure the tank full of air by adding fuel. The air that fills the tank in the absence of fuel is not the issue at all. Similarly, the absence of nutrients and physiological functionality that result in what can be called scurvy or cancer is really not “cured” by providing the relevant nourishment.
So, consider that there is clearly such a thing as normal metabolism. In the presence of certain amounts of Vitamin C, normal metabolism is possible. Vitamin C does not cure the absence of Vitamin C. Similarly, Vitamin B-17 does not cure the absence of Vitamin B-17. Vitamins like C and B-17 are simply required for normal metabolism. In the absence of any of the ingredients required, different results are produced.
If you attempt to bake cake without yeast and the cake does not rise and instead of cake you get brownies, that does not mean that you have brownies with yeastlessness or a cake with brownieness. You simply have brownies and not a cake.
Citrus fruit slices

Citrus fruit slices (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you eat enough Vitamin C, you have enough Vitamin C. If you do not eat enough Vitamin C, you do not have too much scurviness. There is no presence of a biochemical scurvy. Scurvy is just a linguistic label. Scurvy does not kill anyone. Vitamin C may result in survival, but a diagnostic label, like a label on a jar, does not have any effect on the content of a jar.
So, calling a label incurable is not especially intelligent or useful. A jar that does not contain any Vitamin C is not filled with too much incurable scurvy. Labeling a jar that does not contain Vitamin C as a jar that contains scurvy reminds me of another diagnostic label though: “quackery.”
Now, while many people may be interested in the distinctions in language that I just mentioned or even in the competencies in physiology that I just mentioned, I used all of the preceding simply as an introduction to the following. Even the question about 9 out of 10 people who admit ignorance about what AT&T stands for was just to lead to this.
First, remember that AT&T stopped investing in the telegraph business because telephones provided an absolute advantage over telegraphs. Mark Sisson stopped putting several hours a day in to exercising when he found a reliable way to produce better results in a tiny fraction of the time, right?
Now, how much would it be worth to have the insight of someone who understands how investment trends begin and end? Again, 9 people might admit ignorance, but thousands of admissions of ignorance do not make scurvy incurable or trends unpredictable.
Investors who used a competent advisor like Jim Shepherd received early warnings for the last 29 years before the beginning of every major rise and fall in the US stock market, as well as advance warning of the US real estate decline (I saw him refer to the emerging decline by 2002). I recently compiled a list of 10 forecasters who published alerts of at least one of the major economic developments of recent years.
So, if 10 out of 10 of them agreed about something being predictable for the near future, would you be interested in knowing the opportunities and risks that they agree are predictable? But wait! What if 6 billion people admit ignorance about those same opportunities and risks?
Would you be willing to stop what you are doing for a few minutes to learn how you could have the absolute advantage of vastly superior investing results at much less risk to you, much less cost to you, and much more security? Remember, even the best telegraphs do not compete with any basic telephone that is functional. The best-trained aerobics instructors do not compete with a personal trainer who is competent in “high intensity training.” The best-trained pharmaceutical “medicationists” do not compete with a single competent physiologist. Further, if you want to prosper economically, you might value even a brief consultation with someone who understands economics, trends, markets, court systems, legal issues, and, last but not least, language.
9 people who admit that the Greek language does not make any more sense to them then investment trends do not compete with a single person who understands that prices are like stickers on a jar. Prices do not change the content of the jar. People who only watch prices and follow them may not even understand what changes prices predictably.
In economics, different methods get different results, as in rewards or losses. It is no different in economics than in anything else.

However, you do not need to understand the science behind high intensity training to experience the absolute advantage that it has over more popular methods. Likewise, you do not need to understand the logic behind the reliable forecasts of competent analysts to benefit from them. All you have to do is demonstrate that you are more interested in one person who claims to be able to demonstrate competence than in 9 people who admit ignorance (or even 6 billion).

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