"The art and science of prediction"

Nate Silver is the man who predicted the result in every state in the 2012 US election, projecting him to instant stardom amongst political pundits.

Published in Comment & reviews
Tuesday, 26 March 2013 21:57

Functional Boards

Instituting a functional Board at the head of a company is not rocket science, even if it seems much more complicated than that.

Published in Guidance
Monday, 15 October 2012 13:50

Dysfunctional Boards

What are the typical symptoms of dysfunctional boards?

All company boards are dysfunctional in some way or another, and all need to be awake to the risks they themselves present to the proper functioning of their businesses. Physician, thou canst not cure thyself 'til diagnosed.

This article is intended to help diagnosis.

Published in Guidance
Monday, 05 March 2012 21:48

Thinking, Fast and Slow

Every now and again a book comes along which stops you in your tracks.  You catch yourself thinking about its ideas at odd moments.  After a while you realise that it has changed your way of thinking - perhaps not radically, but changed all the same.  Three books have done this to me recently. One of them is Daniel Kahneman's Thinking, Fast And Slow 1.

Published in Comment & reviews
Friday, 13 May 2011 16:15

Foreign Exchange Problem Teaser

The Problem

A company imports from abroad and does not have to pay for the goods until they are sold on. Payments must be made in the currency of the supplier.  The problem with this is that the exchange rate at the time the goods have to be paid for is a future unknown.

Published in Teasers

The Problem

A company imports from abroad and does not have to pay for the goods until they are sold on. Payments must be made in the currency of the supplier.  The problem with this is that the exchange rate at the time the goods have to be paid for is a future unknown.

If the company imports $2 million worth of goods, then there is a risk of the exchange rate falling and having to pay a higher price than  now.  Every 10 cent change in the rate could cost the company some £83,000.

The rate could, of course, go the other way.  The company might be happy to just let this risk run, confident that they can pass on the price increase, or perhaps judging that the dollar is weakening and sterling strengthening, so that on balance they are more likely to benefit from movements. Many, however, prefer a degree of certainty.  How can they achieve certainty when they cannot know what exchange rates will be ?

Published in Downloads
Thursday, 10 March 2011 13:24

Cash and Credit Control

It is painfully common to see companies which are desperate for cash neglecting a critical part of the cash cycle - credit control.  Here is what is required :

Published in Guidance
Friday, 11 February 2011 18:30

Why use an outsourced FD ?

This article is aimed at managing directors looking for some  help finding solutions to their problems. What does a financial director do anyway ? Do they add value ?  

The long answer relates to the needs and issues of your business. The short answer is 'because two brains are better than one'.

Published in Guidance