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    What I'm Reading/Listening To

    John Melley - Wednesday, July 14, 2010
    People ask me what I'm reading/Listening to.

    I just finished listening to Malcolm Gladwell's "Outliers" performed by the author himself. Interesting theory in that he believes successful people take advantage of opportunities presented to them, but that the opportunities are available to them as a result of a series of events that may not be available to everyone.

    One example he gives is that most Hockey players from Canada have birthdays in the first 3 months of the year. The cut off date to enter a league is December 31st. This results in the players born in the first part of the year having at least a 9 month head start over the players born in December and therefore better developed skills which allows them to advance to higher levels in various leagues. This in turn weeds out folks born in the latter part of the year. That's how you wind up with about 60% of the players in the NHL celebrating birthdays in Jan. Feb. and March.

    Who knew?

    His question is: If there was another cut-off date, say June 30th in addition to the December 31st date, would you double the talent pool available for selection and give more people a shot at higher levels of training. Are the man-made cutoff dates prohibiting other talents from developing? Perhaps hockey teams would be even more competitive and reache higher levels of proficiency if there was more talent to choose from instead of one so heavily weighted by birthday.

    He also explores the opportunities that Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and the founder of Sun Microsystems enjoyed that propelled them to Billionaire status.

    I'm not sure I agree with all his theories, but there are some interesting questions raised.

    Now I'm listening to Harry Dent, Jr.'s "The Great Depression Ahead."

    This is a fascinating look at demographics, history and economic cycles. It may sound like dry stuff, but if you're a history buff in any way, you want to check this out. He does a nice job of presenting the information in an interesting way.

    Based on his theories that the largest sector of the Baby Boom Generation has shifted from Consumers to Savers since their kids have grown and they need to save for retirement he contends this last recession is nothing compared to what's ahead and the stimulus package just delayed the inevitable.

    He says watch for a major stock market crash later this month or by August/September this year. Yikes!

    I'm also reading a book about Walt Disney's life. More later.

    John
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