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Wonder, Wealth & Abundance

Name matters

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Written 20 years back by Al Ries

The lure of the generic is so powerful that some companies have paid enormous sums for names that in the long run will turn out to be useless. A Los Angeles company bought for $7.5 million. Some other recent purchases: was bought for $3 million. was bought for $1.75 million. was bought for $1.1 million. was bought for $1.03 million. was bought for $823,456. was bought for $530,000. It’s worse than tulip mania in Holland or truffle madness in France. The latest bid on the name was $3 million. (If you own a common Internet name, our advice is to sell it before the mania melts away.) Even at this early stage, the power of a proper name as opposed to a common name for an Internet brand has been clearly demonstrated. The big early winners (AOL,, eBay,, Yahoo!) have all been proper names rather than common names. There’s a lot of confusion on this issue. People see a name like Priceline and assume it’s a common or generic name, but it’s not. The generic name for the category is “tickets” or really “name-your-own-price airline tickets.” is a common name used for a Website that, in our opinion, is not going to take off. (“Price” and “line” are common words, of course, but they are used out of context and in combination to create the proper name “Priceline,” which becomes an effective Internet brand name.) Every common name can also be a proper name if used to identify a single person, place, or thing. Bird is a common name, but it’s also a proper name, as in Larry Bird or Tweety Bird. When you are choosing a brand name for your Website, the first thing to ask yourself is, what’s the generic name for the category? Then that’s the one name you don’t want to use for your site. Invariably a singular proper name will turn out to be a better name for your site than a generic., for example, is a better name for a Website devoted to women than (Yes, there is a Website called, and it spent millions to promote its name before selling out to a rival. is a better name for a Website that sells luxury goods than,, or In the physical world, the same branding principles apply. The proper name is superior to the common or generic name. McDonald’s is a better name than Burger King. Hertz is a better name than National Car Rental. (All the car rental names you see in an airline terminal are national car rental companies, but there’s only one Hertz.) Time is a better name than Newsweek or U.S. News & World Report. Kraft is a better name than General Foods, so when Kraft General Foods decided to simplify their name, they called the company Kraft and not General Foods. There are degrees of commonness, of course. “Burger King” is not a totally common name. The Hamburger Place would be a totally common name for a fast-food establishment that features burgers. There are degrees of properness, too. McDonald’s and Hertz are more “proper” than Time magazine. Time is a common name used out of context to create a proper name. In the same way, Amazon and Yahoo! are more “proper” than Priceline and eBay, which are common words used out of context. (All distinctions are relative, of course. Even Amazon and Yahoo! can be common words. A yahoo is a brutish creature and an amazon is a tall, vigorous, strong-willed woman.) So how “proper” should your Website name be? It all depends. First, and most important of all, you want your Website name to be perceived as a proper name. Then hopefully you want your name to be more “proper” than your competitors’. But you also want to consider other factors.

You create a proper name that’s also short and easy to spell., for example, took the generic term “computer network” and shortened it to CNET, creating a short, proper name that’s also easy to spell.

Nabisco needed a brand name for its vanilla wafers, so it called them Nilla. And the powerful brand name Jell-O is just a shortened version of gelatin dessert. Nabisco itself is a brand name constructed by condensing its former generic name, National Biscuit Company. (There are many national biscuit companies, but only one Nabisco.) finally threw in the towel on their long, difficult-to-spell name and shortened it to Morgan Stanley Dean Witter is an enormously successful financial company, but is not going to make it on the Internet. The company shortened the name to (The names and are not good either, because they are hard to remember.)

One way to have your cake and eat it too is by using both a name and a nickname on the Web. Charles Schwab is the leading discount brokerage firm, but on the Web the company uses both and, although it promotes only

People feel closer to a brand when they are able to use the brand’s nickname instead of its full name.

Beemer, not BMW 

Chevy, not Chevrolet 

Coke, not Coca-Cola 

Bud, not Budweiser 

FedEx, not Federal Express 

Mac, not Macintosh

But how unique is, a site that spent $20 million to tell you they sell health, beauty, and wellness products? Or or or or or or or or Or any of a hundred different sites being backed by millions of dollars’ worth of venture capital and promoted with millions of dollars’ worth of advertising? A Waltham, Massachusetts, company spent $20 million in television and radio advertisements to launch a gift-buying service called How is anyone going to remember the name? Let’s say you wanted to buy a present for your friend Charlie for Christmas. Do you go to,,, or what? By definition a common or generic name is not unique. It does not refer to a specific person, place, or thing like a proper name does. Therefore, a common name used as a Website name for the generic category is not memorable.


The mind works with the sounds of words, not with the visuals and their shapes. When you grow up, you learn not to move your lips when you’re reading. But this doesn’t change the way your mind works. It still works with the sounds of words. If you want people to remember something, rhyme it for them. “If the glove don’t fit, you must acquit.” is an improvement over the brand’s original name, which was Alliteration is another sure-fire way to improve your brand’s memorability. Many real-world brand names are alliterative. Some examples: Bed, Bath & Beyond, Blockbuster, Big Bertha, Coca-Cola, Weight Watchers. 

The same principle applies with babies. Give your newborn kid a head start. Pick a first name that’s alliterative with your last name. It’s a fact that many famous celebrities have alliterative names: Alan Alda, Ronald Reagan, Robert Redford, Tina Turner, Marilyn Monroe, Charlie Chaplin, Sharon Stone, Greta Garbo, Doris Day, Sylvester Stallone, Susan Sarandon, Ted Turner, Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck.


Written by amitdipsite

September 30, 2017 at 1:26 am

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“Let the institutions of your country be so robust and dynamic, that even a fool cannot jeopardise the progress, because one day a fool will reign over the country”, Self.


Norway Sovereign wealth, in its own league


Warren Buffett Wins $1M Bet

In 2007, Warren Buffett challenged finance professionals in the hedge fund industry to accept a bet that Buffett described in his 2016 letter to shareholders of Berkshire-Hathaway:

“I publicly offered to wager $500,000 that no investment pro could select a set of at least five hedge funds – wildly-popular and high-fee investing vehicles – that would over an extended period match the performance of an unmanaged S&P-500 index fund charging only token fees. I suggested a ten-year bet and named a low-cost Vanguard S&P fund as my contender. (…) Only one man – Ted Seides – stepped up to my challenge. Ted was a co-manager of Protégé Partners, an asset manager that had raised money from limited partners to form a fund-of-funds – in other words, a fund that invests in multiple hedge funds.”

Link to the bet:

“Over a ten-year period commencing on January 1, 2008, and ending on December 31, 2017, the S&P 500 will outperform a portfolio of funds of hedge funds, when performance is measured on a basis net of fees, costs and expenses.”

Buffett’s Argument:

A lot of very smart people set out to do better than average in securities markets. Call them active investors.

Their opposites, passive investors, will by definition do about average. In aggregate their positions will more or less approximate those of an index fund. Therefore the balance of the universe—the active investors—must do about average as well. However, these investors will incur far greater costs. So, on balance, their aggregate results after these costs will be worse than those of the passive investors.

Costs skyrocket when large annual fees, large performance fees, and active trading costs are all added to the active investor’s equation. Funds of hedge funds accentuate his cost problem because their fees are superimposed on the large fees charged by the hedge funds in which the funds of funds are invested.

A number of smart people are involved in running hedge funds. But to a great extent their efforts are self-neutralizing, and their IQ will not overcome the costs they impose on investors. Investors, on average and over time, will do better with a low-cost index fund than with a group of funds of funds.

Here are the results:




Global GDP over a millenium



Ref: Halifax

Written by amitdipsite

September 25, 2017 at 2:53 am

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Elimination Diet

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Something your doctors may never mention. It works for most autoimmune conditions. 

Try this on some who has a chronic illness like Arthritis. 

I’ve often talked with folks that were confident that foods didn’t have any impact on their symptoms. I ask if they’ve ever run a good ‘elimination’ diet and a surprising number assure me that they have. Upon further questioning I always find that they have only eliminated a couple of foods, say milk or wheat or nightshade vegetables (tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, etc.). Even though milk and wheat are common food allergens and nightshade vegetables create problems for those possessing one specific metabolism, this should not be considered a true elimination diet.
Over 85% of people with chronic disease have food allergies. Most will find not one, but a handful of foods acting as the major culprits. This is the reason why eliminating just one or two random foods is all but useless. If you were allergic to a large number of tree pollens, springtime grasses and weeds, the removal of only one of these airborne allergens would usually have little impact on your total allergy symptoms. If the allergen was added back into the mix you probably wouldn’t notice. The effect from this one allergen would be hidden or ‘masked’ by your already prominent symptoms to the other allergens. The same phenomenon occurs with foods.
How could we find whether the airborne allergen in the above example was a significant factor in triggering our allergic symptoms? The best way would be to place ourselves in a room with perfectly filtered air (in essence eliminating all airborne allergens) until our allergy symptoms abated. The specific allergen would then be re-introduced and any allergic reaction noted. In this way the impact of a single, specific allergen can be isolated and tested. What was previously thought to be a rather insignificant allergen would often deliver a surprisingly strong allergic response.
We can do the same thing with foods. Historically ‘spring water fasts’ have been employed. Patients would drink only spring water for the initial 4-5 days. This type of ‘fast’ would obviously eliminate all food allergens from the diet. It was maintained for 4-5 days to also allow physical elimination of all foods eaten prior to the start of the ‘fast’ from the digestive tract.
Spring water fasts have one major problem. A significant percentage of individuals cannot tolerate them and should not try them. Their metabolic demands make any kind of extended water fast dangerous. Fortunately years of previous testing has provided a list of ‘safe’ foods that can be temporarily substituted for your usual diet. These foods are not completely hypo-allergenic but they do have a low allergenic potential. In other words they are rarely found to induce a reaction. The foods include cod, trout, mackerel, pears, parsnips, turnips, rutabaga, sweet potatoes, yams, celery, zucchini, carrots and peaches. Any foods routinely eaten more than twice a week should be removed from the list. All the foods must be fresh and in their ‘whole’ or natural form. No cans or other packaging allowed.
Spring water or sparkling water are the only acceptable liquids. The only allowed condiment is sea or mineral salt. Steaming is an excellent method of preparing foods during your elimination diet.
Prior to starting the diet you’ll need to purchase a bottle of magnesium citrate (found in the laxative section) and alka-seltzer ‘gold’ (it’s found only in the gold colored box). All drugs should be continued. Smoking should be ceased when initiating the diet. You will not be able to eat at restaurants during the diet.
If you work, Thursday evening will be the best time to begin. Wait two hours after dinner and pour one-half of the contents of the bottle of magnesium citrate into a tall glass. Add an equal amount of water and some ice and drink slowly. Repeat the same procedure with the remainder of the magnesium citrate just prior to retiring.
Friday morning’s breakfast and all subsequent meals for the next six days should consist exclusively of the ‘safe’ foods (cod, trout, mackerel, pears, parsnips, turnips, rutabaga, sweet potatoes, yams, celery, zucchini, carrots and peaches). You may eat them in any combination and in any amount as often as you want throughout the first six days. Take note of what you are eating and how often you are eating it. You won’t be able to remember so keep a diary. You will need that information later.
By Friday evening (day 1) you should start feeling your first ‘withdrawal’ symptoms. You won’t be getting the temporary lift provided by your allergenic food(s). Withdrawal symptoms can take many forms. The most obvious is an increase in joint swelling and pain. Headache, muscle aches, fatigue and other flu-like symptoms are very common. Strong hunger pangs and cravings are usually present. It’s not unusual to still feel hungry shortly after a meal.
Withdrawal symptoms will worsen on Saturday and Sunday (days 2 and 3). The intensity of these symptoms should not be underestimated. In fact many will feel completely crippled during these days. Withdrawal symptoms can be somewhat ameliorated by taking one tablet of alka-seltzer (in the gold box) in a large glass of water. This can be repeated every 4 hours if needed. You should try to drink plenty of water. It will help speed elimination and the ‘clearing’ of symptoms.
By Monday (day 4) some will feel significantly better as their withdrawal symptoms begin to clear. This ‘clearing’ will continue on Tuesday and Wednesday (days 5 and 6). While younger people tend to clear their symptoms earlier, 85% of all arthritics will clear a large part of their arthritis symptoms by day 6. After clearing most report that they feel better than they have in years.
Now that symptoms have cleared new foods can be introduced, one by one, to the base diet of ‘safe’ foods that you’ve been eating the past 6 days. Up to 3 foods can be tested each day if there is no reaction.

Written by amitdipsite

September 21, 2017 at 5:58 pm

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There are two rules in life.
1. Never give out all of the information.

The noblest of dogs is the Hot Dog, it feeds the hand that bites it.

Always and never are two words you should always remember never to use.

The IQ of a mob can be determined by taking the IQ of the dumbest member, and dividing by the number of members.

You only need a parachute if you’re skydiving twice.

A lot of people get a monkey off their back in order to make room for an elephant.

A man mixed with a cat will improve the man, but deteriorate the cat.

To the girl who texted me the yesterday, “I love you. So what do you think?” A reply to her. “Yes. Of course even I love myself”.

Written by amitdipsite

September 21, 2017 at 5:53 pm

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Product or the company Behind it

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Lynch is famous for saying, “If you like the product, chances are you will like owning the stock of company selling it”.

Sometimes it makes sense to buy the company behind the product too, but often it does not.

  1. Company could be losing market share
  2. Company could be expensive, valuations
  3. Company could be too big relative to economy/market opportunity
  4. Company may be slowing down
  5. etc.

Lets look at Apple. The products are great, loyal customer base, I personally like the pixel depth (retina display) in the iPhone 7 plus. But the valuation of the company behind it is a different story.

Fingerprint recognition is one of the strongest forms of match, face match not so. Know this from professional consulting with Immigration and Police departments and looking at bio-metric engines. I believe Apple got it wrong and hit snags and could not make Fingerprint in time for iPhone X, fingerprint will be back next year, likely IMO.


Will I buy the stock?

The current market cap of Apple is 800 Billion USD.

If you wanted to earn 10% CAGR post tax in the US at marginal tax rate, then you need to compound at 15%

The company itself will be much bigger and slow down, meaning the market will give it 10 PE multiple.

So, in 2027, 10 years from now, in order to earn 10% CAGR the MCAP must be 3.3 Trillion USD, at current 18 PE multiple, if the multiples are to compress, then the company must grow even faster. i.e. @ 22% CAGR from current annual profits of 45 Billion to 330 Billion.

You know how ridiculous 3.3 Trillion Dollars is in terms of market cap? Current size of the US economy is 18 Trillion Dollar, or will be 20 Trillion GDP (in 2027) as per past growth rate of 1.6%.


So, we are talking about more than 15% 16.5% of US GDP for Apple, it better pull out rabbits like a magician.

Apple depends more than 55% on iPhone and its hasn’t grown in the past two years.

In the new iPhones released in 2017, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X, there are not really any new features that aren’t already there in Android phones like facial recognition or wireless charging. They can continue to be priced as Veblen goods, and I think that is where it will play out in favour of iPhone



You’ve got to give points to Apple for putting nothing but a distinctive logo on the back side, I was surprised when an 18 month who cannot frame sentences old said to me looking at the phone “its Apple”, sure as hell toddlers don’t recognise Samsung or Nokia’s.

So, will you buy Apple the phone or Apple the stock? Did Warren Buffett make a mistake?

We’ll find out. Size of the company does gravitate returns. Its easier to make calls on the companies that are smaller, and we don’t have Buffett’s problem of spare 50 Billion dollars lying idle in cash needing to earn 4% CAGR desperately.

Why should we not instead bet on the companies or countries that have Mortgage/GDP ratio of 2% ? (Turkey 6%, Romania 8%,  India 10%,  US 70%)

This being a topical point. When I read housing finance companies reports in India (myself invested in HFCs) they keep citing Mortgage / GDP ratio and juxtaposing it with the US, without the context of per capita income, citing how far it can go.

Turkey and Romania have 14000 USD and 11,000 USD per capita income, that is more than seven and five times respectively that India’s per capital of 1800 USD. Still the mortgage penetration is lower for the former two.

Enough waffling, you get the idea. Look for value, look for size, in relation to what’s available, i.e. opportunity cost. And you can increase your opportunity cost by increasing the ideas you understand or increasing the companies you can invest in.

Electric Cars

Going by the Veblen goods logic, I believe that another 10-15 years are given to the car companies during the transition to electric and then post Autonomous shift (the barriers are not technical, but regulatory), nearly all car companies will die. Only a handful may be left, and I would personally not bet, but if I were to, my money will be only on the car companies making majority of cars above 100,000 USD because it will be a status symbol than utility to drive car post Autonomous shift.

Written by amitdipsite

September 18, 2017 at 3:46 am

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Countries that welcome, embrace and accept immigrants

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Written by amitdipsite

September 9, 2017 at 3:06 am

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Thirsty not hungry

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Hunger for finding value is out. Standards are lax. Risk is not looked upon. Greater fool game on. Its almost as if all bad habits of a person are solved by new responsibility of getting married, listing a company on stock exchange erases all past sins of over leveraged balance sheet and such.

The investors are very thirsty for financial instruments, especially equity, as if the tap has been shut. Deprive-al super reaction.


Written by amitdipsite

September 8, 2017 at 5:27 am

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