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Techno Diplomacy: Apple's Steve Jobs (right) with Russian President Medvedev. Photo: Wikipedia

Translated by Andrew Vanburen from: 投資致勝首要條件 (中文翻譯, 請閱讀下面)

THE MOST BASIC requirement for success in the stock market is to ‘stay in the game’, as best exemplified by the recently departed founder of Apple, Steve Jobs.

What lessons can today’s investors take away from this in these topsy-turvy times?

Jobs (1955-2011) relished life and all its challenges right up until the bitter end, with the college dropout-turned visionary finally succumbing to the deadly disease of cancer at the age of 56.

He began his professional life in the 1970s by founding Apple, one of the most iconic names to ever grace the prestigious list of revolutionary information technology firms.

But he was soon up against formidable competition as his admirers turned into rivals and also wanted a piece of the still nascent IT and home computer revolution.

This prompted him to hedge his bets, and he hitched his wagon to the established star that was Disney, being a significant mover and shaker – and shareholder -- in the entertainment behemoth’s Pixar animation studios.

Apple then developed another trophy asset – NeXT – which bolstered the Cupertino, California-based firm's across-the-spectrum profile and product range.

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Steve Jobs completely overhauled and revolutionized at least six major IT industry sub-categories during his over half-century on this planet: PCs, cellphones, eBooks, music, animation and flat-screen computers. Photo: Wikipedia

After briefly leaving Apple in the early 1980s, Jobs established NeXT Computer Co in 1985 using total seed capital of 7 mln usd. The next year, facing pressure from creditors, he managed to convince Texas billionaire (and unsuccessful 1992 US presidential candidate) Ross Perot to invest heavily in the firm. This resulted in NeXT workstations being released in 1990 at a sky-high list price of just under 10,000 usd per unit.

After a period where perhaps Apple lost its edge, and tried to outdo rather than out-innovate the competition, Jobs brought the computer maker back from the dead to quickly ascend to a position of strength it never enjoyed previously.

Leading the charge was the company’s line of home computers which began to be simply referred to as Apples to differentiate them from “PCs” for which IBM was the standard bearer manufacturer.

This quickly morphed into the seemingly ubiquitous panoply of iPhones, iPads and iPods that are for many urbanites these days as close as “must-have” items as one can get.

It is generally accepted as truth that that Steve Jobs completely overhauled and revolutionized at least six major IT industry sub-categories during his over half-century on this planet: personal computers, cellphones, eBooks, music, animation and flat-screen computers.

Not a bad resume for someone who, sadly, left us prematurely.

With over three decades experience at or near the pinnacle of global innovation leadership, and the heights he reached, one can only imagine what else this young-at-heart entrepreneur would have accomplished if cancer had not cut his life short.

Sadly, ifs and maybes are not part of history, but the legendary accomplishments of Steve Jobs will live with us forever.

A Lifetime of Achievement Interrupted by Mortality

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Apple's five-year run, currently trading at 403.97 usd


Surely there was more to come from Steve Jobs, but the tumors in his pancreas had other ideas.

Every successful entrepreneur has a little bit of the workaholic in him or her, but they would deny it, saying they fully enjoy putting in a full day’s work (which can sometimes creep well into the double digit hours).

If the entrepreneur occasionally takes a day or two off for a mini-holiday, chances are they won’t experience withdrawal symptoms and they’ll come back to the office (or home workstation) with renewed vigor and vitality.

However, take away that person’s health – even for a few hours – and that will be the only thing that matters to him, and all efforts will be redirected to trying to recover that state of physical well being.

This piece here is meant to be part tribute, and part reflection, on the shortened life of Steve Jobs.

And we all, in varying ways, have been positively influenced by the technological innovations that Steve Jobs gifted to mankind.

And what lessons can investors – and innovators – take from the life of Steve Jobs?

After all, things got off to a rough start when he decided to drop out of Reed College in his freshman year.

I think it is this: business and success provide no guarantees and there are no cookie cutter recipes for success.

But the only way to even have a chance at success is to stay hungry, stay foolish... and stay in the game as long as life allows you, because you never know when the next opportunity will come knocking.

And staying in the game is exactly what Mr. Jobs ultimately did.

See also: HONG KONG BOURSE’S Best Bargains?



投資致勝首要條件:Stay in the game
(
文: 黃國英, 豐盛融資資產管理部董事) 

蘋果教主喬布斯,離職養病,惜終不敵病魔,終年五十有六。七十年代起家,先創辦蘋果電腦(AAPL),中途被逐蒙難,轉搞彼思動畫(PIXAR),一樣有聲有色。喜獲迪士尼(DIS)收購,續變身迪士尼大股東。另一檔生意NeXT,又被蘋果收購,最終回巢效力。重掌帥印後,將公司起死回生,比之前更加成功。蘋果最強的i字頭系列,都在這「中興」年代推出,產品廣受歡迎。據估計,喬布斯起碼顛覆了全球六大產業:個人電腦、手機、音樂、動畫、電子書、平板電腦。奮鬥三十餘年,已有力翻天覆地,如若再幹十年,會是何等景象?可惜,歷史沒有如果,傳奇不幸作結。

壽命限制事業成就

人的壽命,往往限制事業上的成就。當然,能投入工作的年份,才有意義。所以具有健康的身心,更形重要。對投資者而言,只要一息尚存,仍有建功立業機會,故此要有所成,首要身壯力健,二要保存財政實力,將留在市場的時間,延至最長。股神巴菲特,之所以能夠封神,一項重要因素,就是夠長壽。其首次登上世界首富寶座,是二○○八年,當時已屆七十八歲高齡。如股神像喬氏一般,不敵天數大限,只活到五十餘歲,即八十年代中,則其時連名震天下的傑作:可口可樂(KO),都尚未買入,總結成績,自然大打折扣。炒神索羅斯,更要到四十歲,才與羅傑斯開檔,首次管理基金。到擊潰英鎊一役,行年六十有二,就嚟有生果金攞。

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黃國英, 豐盛融資資產管理部董事

留於市場時間,愈長愈着數,有幾個原因:首先是複利的威力。愛因斯坦謂:「複利乃宇宙間最強力量,是世界第八大奇迹。」年賺一成半,五年翻一番,純粹中學數,完全沒難度。又,股神曰:「時間為好公司之友,壞公司之敵。」當持有的股份,長年累月賺取利潤、派發股息,多年後回望,會在不覺間漸有所成。

投資技巧經驗累積

其次是知識、經驗,會隨時間累積。投資就如學英文,一開始從頭學起,字母、詞匯、句式、文法,最後才是作文。最初字母都未背完,出去同人鬥寫,自然瓜多過菜。多數人沒度過最初階段,但存活夠久,經歷漸長,開始識寫一段仔,雖然高手仍然眾多,但由於開始拋離入門新手,死亡率會逐漸下降,技巧亦漸進。在投資上,到了某一階段,譬如經過前兩年的海嘯,又或是近一年的波動,仍能力保不失,或許證明已找到生存之道。

而投資要有大成,也講點際遇,像股神亦要碰上八七股災,可口可樂回落,才有機會買入。下一次機會,何時降臨,無人能知,唯一可以肯定,待在市場愈久,碰上的機會愈多。同時,因為遇到機會的時間未明,時常保留一定的購買力,也相當重要。

金錢遊戲,人之所需,難以告終。喬布斯嘗勉勵後進謂:Stay hungry. Stay foolish.誠哉斯言。投資投機,欲更進一步,則宜加上:Stay in the game.

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