Vale Jack Bogle: a reminder of values and capitalism

Given the recent passing of investment legend Jack Bogle, I thought I’d share some notes I’ve taken from his work over the years. Bogle founded the Vanguard Group but, much more importantly, invented the ‘index fund’ – a way for everyday low key investors (like myself) to invest in the stock market as a whole versus trying to pick individual stocks. “I rank this Bogle invention along with the invention of the wheel,” said Nobel Prize winner Paul Samuelson, “the alphabet, Gutenberg printing, and wine and cheese: a mutual fund that never made Bogle rich, but elevated the long-term returns […]

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16 Real Tips for Young Public Servants

Part of the reason why I wrote my book – Winners Don’t Cheat – is because I wanted to write to myself ten years ago. This was a time when I was turning around a ‘slow start’ out of high school, slowly improving my studies as part of an international relations degree, and thinking more about my career and building skills. In a similar theme of reflection, I thought I’d share some advice that, looking back to my early years in the Commonwealth public service, would’ve helped me get off to a better start. Landing your first proper job is certainly a time of […]

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Episode 29 – Bastion Collective CEO Jack Watts

For this episode I’m fortunate to be joined by Bastion CEO Jack Watts (www.bastioncollective.com). Jack and I met over a decade ago on a leadership course in China, and he has since grown a small sports marketing opportunity into a firm with global reach and employing hundreds of people. We talk about the importance of experience, taking on risk, avoiding bad decisions, managing people and dealing with growth. I enjoyed Jack’s principles – design the life you want to live, tap into your ‘thrill of the chase’, fail fast, ‘corterize’ it, get the bad news out, and move on with […]

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Episode 28 – Public vs Private – When Should Government Run Things?

On this episode economist Will Witheridge and I discuss the philosophy behind privatisation, the wisdom of Adam Smith, and cartels and monopolies. We also talk about the challenges of the privatisation journey in the West (Australia’s Two Airlines Policy for example), some of the areas where privatisation doesn’t entirely work and the balance between government regulation and ‘nationalisation in new clothes’ – excessive green and red tape. Show Highlights How Papua New Guinea’s telecommunications industry is an example of a government monopoly ‘taking a back seat’ and private enterprise, competition, lower prices and greater access coming to the fore. How […]

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Episode 27 – Old Head Young Shoulders: The Parallel University with Richard Krohn

To start 2019 we are putting an ‘older head on younger shoulders’ with Richard Krohn – author of The Parallel University: Create A Balanced Life And Have It All. From superannuation to resilience, we talk about the importance of creating a plan, avoiding binge television and surrounding yourself with positive people. We also cover how individuals should respond to the allure of progressive politics, the hefty fees from planet finance, and test general assumptions around inequality and globalisation. Now is a time when a lot is being asked of individuals. Not all are answering the call, which only underlines the […]

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The grand agreement: Indigenous Australians and the Monarchy’s Promise

At the 1998 Constitutional Convention, despite the scores of eminent Australians in attendance, far and away the most notable speech was by Neville Bonner. Bonner rose from hardscrabble beginnings – literally born under a tree in northern New South Wales – to become a federal Senator for Queensland. He was a very proud Aboriginal man but, in a manner that confronts assumptions, was conservative in his politics, disposition and philosophy. This put him in lonely company, especially given the activism of the 1960s and 70s – the era of Bonner’s political awakening and ascendance. By the 1998 Convention he had […]

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Episode 26 – 2018 Year in Review

From bitcoin to Australian federalism, I like to think The Jacobs Podcast, which I started in early 2018, has been a very small contribution to good old fashioned ‘long form’ discussion. Jordan Shopov, Will Witheridge and I reflect on our favourite podcasters of the year, which includes heavies like Tyler Cowen and Russ Roberts to Dave Rubin and, of course, this year’s big sensation – Jordan Peterson. We also talk about our favourite books and our thoughts on 2019, where we predict the ‘values and capitalism’ debate will re-emerge as planet finance revolves back into earth’s orbit, laying bare the […]

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Best laid plans and the odd nature of ‘success’: What five months of being an author has taught me

I’m not the world’s greatest fan of the American musician and rapper Machine Gun Kelly. In fact, I couldn’t even tell you one of his songs. But, like many people, I do enjoy paying attention to success and ‘MGK’ – as the distinctively white Cleveland-born 28-year old is known – appears to have it in spades. His recent stoush with Eminem has dominated entertainment headlines for months, catapulting Kelly to mega-stardom, listens, views, likes and all the other instruments we attribute to modern day success. But it was in 2015, prior the rapper’s current fame, where I remember his response […]

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