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by Alan Hargreaves



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Thursday
May232019

Recessions Revisited

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What should you care about?

Recessions are back in the news. Some say we are overdue for one. Should we worry? 

In the US, there have been 10 recessions since WWII — one every seven or so years. The last one ended in 2009 — about 10 years ago. So there’s a bit of a worry.

There’s no sign of remarkable new economic strategies to offset one. Geopolitics appear unstable. Politicians seem more erratic. There’s no sign of any statesmen coming to the rescue. In fact there’s no sign of any statesmen. 

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Tuesday
Apr092019

Ode to the disrupted

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Hard yards for incumbents and startups

General Electric (GE) was dropped from the Dow Jones last year. After more than a century, the oldest member finally left. It was replaced by a drugstore chain.

Many incumbents have a similar profile to GE. They have long histories. Many are profitable, household names that remain viable. Their balance sheets are strong and their reach is deep. 

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Tuesday
Feb262019

Horses for Courses

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The Principles of Outsourcing

I once considered early retirement. We’d sold our core business. Children were approaching school’s end. My head was saying do something different. 

Horses were already part of my family. My wife was a riding instructor; one daughter was an equine nurse; another would shortly become a full-time equestrian. Yes, breeding sport horses seemed like a good idea.

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Wednesday
Jan162019

Feeling apprehensive? That's good.

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Certainly uncertain

Ever been put off by the overconfident sales person who expresses complete certainty about everything? 

I don’t just mean car salesmen or real estate agents. We can include many a transaction-based dialogue, from insurance brokers to shop assistants. Early in the year, otherwise respected market commentators turn to flawed futurism as they come under pressure to forecast what’s ahead.

I prefer those who are confident but also realistic. It turns out most people do.

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Wednesday
Oct102018

Keeping it really simple

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Sticking to the manager’s knitting

Managers emerge from a variety of career paths — production, logistics, sales, marketing, or finance, sometimes admin. Others were there when it started; some are managers because they own it. 

Your history informs your management style, but once in charge, you have to manage functions outside your own experience. 

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