by Charly Mann
Apple Computer (stock symbol: AAPL) is often one of the best companies to invest in. Since July 14th 1976, its stock has gone from $50.16 a share to $142.44 at the close of June 25, 2009. This means that had you invested $100,000 in Apple then and walked away for three years your money would now be worth $283,971.29. For the record, it was in the late spring of 2006 when I became an active investor in Apple stock. I had become impressed with the potential growth of the iPod as well as their laptops and desktops; all of which offered innovation and software and an operating system that far exceeded that on competing PCs. I saw a company with huge growth potential and great management. I also learned a lot about the history and culture of the company, and became convinced Apple would continue to offer superior products that would find wide acceptance in the consumer computer, entertainment, and electronics markets.
One of the reasons Apple is an unusually good company to invest in is that they have little real competition. Apple computers come with an Operating System (Leopard) that makes it unique and far better than anything their competitor Microsoft Windows has to offer. Their computers also come bundled with an array of software for common tasks such as photo and video editing that make the seemingly high list price for Apple computers a real bargain when comparing them with a similarly equipped PC.
The iPod is the dominant music delivery system in the world, with almost 84% market share. It will continue to dominate this area for many reasons. The first is that the iTunes music store is the #1 music retailer in the world and gets larger every year. This is true first and foremost because the iPod and iPhone are not only preloaded with software linking them to the iTunes Store, but also because it is by far the most extensive, easy to use, and well designed download service for music, movies, books, games, and an array of other software in the world.
The iPhone is another dominant and explosive growth sector for Apple. It is the fastest growing consumer smart phone on the market, and has doubled its sales in the last year. Recent surveys have also shown it is beginning to take share away from RIMM’s BlackBerry in the business smart phone market. While the brand new iPhone 3GS is not revolutionary, it is a significant improvement in many ways from the last iPhone and in its first week of release sold more than double what most analysts predicted. We believe within three years the iPhone will also be a serious contender in the consumer photography and video camcorder market. By this time we think the iPhone will have a 10 megapixal image resolution and be capable of shooting video in full high definition. We also think it will incorporate an auto-focus lens capable of high quality optical magnification.
In the future we see Apple moving in the direction of a device that combines the best aspects of its computers, iPhone, and iPod into a product that will not only be revolutionary, but will also be more dominant and indispensable than any product in today's electronics world. We think this product will be as thin as the current MacBook Air, but will have a full touch keyboard on the screen. The device will be a fully functional laptop computer, but will also be better than Amazon's Kindle for reading books, magazines, and newspapers. It will be a great gaming system because of the large screen size (compared to the Gameboy and the Sony PSP). The machine will also be used to wirelessly download HD movies which will look marvelous on its screen, or can be easily hooked up to a home television for viewing. We think that eventually the storage on this device will enable owners to store their full music, photo, game, video, and book library. We also think such a device will be dominant in the market for decades as Apple continues to update and refine its capabilities. We see Apple's stock price going to $500 a share by 2015 with a PE of between 24 and 30.
by Charly Mann
How do we make life fair? One way most people think is a good method is through a progressive tax system. President Obama has recently proposed the most expensive domestic spending program in United States history, yet promises not to raise taxes on households making less than $250,000 to pay for it. The only people who will have to pay more taxes are the wealthiest 2% of Americans who make more than this. This sounds fair to most us for many reasons. One reason we like this idea is because most of us will not have to contribute a dime to help solve the problems the government wants to fix, including the health care system and our weakened economy.
Today the wealthiest 2% pay about $522 billion in income taxes, which is 62% of all federal income taxes collected. The top income tax rate in the United States is now 35%, and President Obama wants to raise it to a effectively 42% rate. (That includes a 39.6% top tax rate, plus a raise on capital gains and dividend rates). The question becomes... is this fair, or should we tax the rich even more? There seems to be something intrisinic in our psychological makeup that there is something bad or unethical about making too much money, and that people who do so should be punished with high taxes.
In most aspects of life I think we agree that people who do the best should be rewarded, but that does not seem to apply when it comes to financial success. I have seen people who began focusing on academics at an early age, and then work long hours in medical, dental, law, or business school go on to make significantly more than most people. Are they justified in having more money than most of us, or should we enact tax laws that confiscate anything over a certain amount a year, like $500,000?
Next year's federal budget proposed by the Obama Administration is over $4 trillion dollars. A tax of 100% on everyone in America earning over $500,000 would only bring in about 1.3 trillion more revenue than our current tax system. It would also probably be a huge disincentive for people to work and study hard to become doctors and businessmen. As a result, our health care crisis would probably grow sunstantially worse with fewer doctors, and American business, the lifeblood of our economic system, would no longer attract the talent and creativity that has enabled the United States to be the strongest economy in the world.
Americans are becoming more and more dependent on the government for health care, retirement, and an array of other social services, yet that money has to come from somewhere. Since the top 2% already pay the majority of our taxes, it might not be wise to kill the goose that is laying this golden egg.
by Charly Mann
The Harmony Constant is a magical attitude that lies within your soul. When it is engaged it ensures that your external world is safe and secure. It will provide you magnificent and unexpected opportunities. It will also give you insights, delightful experiences, and your required direction at every moment in your life.
To engage the Harmony Constant you must embrace the wisdom that you have attained through experience. You must also be confident that you are in full control of your life, and can navigate through even the most challenging situations.
Life is constantly changing and often paradoxical. Your best friend often turns out to be your worst enemy. Your Harmony Constant is the calm that keeps you safe through the storms of life and can eventually guide you through eternity.
It is all you really need to be aware of. Let it have control of the uncontrollable. Your time on earth is short. Your Harmony Constant will provide you guidance and peace of mind if you cultivate it each and every day.
by Charly Mann
The Pozo-Seco Singers are probably the best vocal group on the 1960's, yet they remain largely ignored by the public and music critics. It is ironic that after they disbanded their male singer, Don Williams, went on to become a country music superstar, and Susan Taylor, the female half of the duo, whose lead vocals and harmonies defined the group, has disapperared into realative obscurity.
The group had one legitmate hit, Time, which was wriiten by Taylor’s friend Michael Merchant. They labored for their first two album as a trio, with Lofton Kline as an additional male vocalist. It was not until 1968 though, when they became a duo, that they created one of the great albums of music history, Shades Of Time. Note for note, song for song, vocal for vocal it equals or surpasses other masterpieces of the era like Abbey Road, Let It Bleed, and Nashville Skyline. The problem with the Secos is that their music never fit into a commercial or radio friendly category. They were too folk for rock, too rock for country, and too easy-listening for folk. Remarkably they excelled in all these categories.
The album opens with an incredible song called Good Morning Today in which Williams and Taylor magically merge into one, creating one of the best opening tracks in album history. The group then seemlessly moves on to create one of the best covers of a Bob Dylan song, with a lovingly joyful version of You Ain’t Going Nowhere. Next Taylor takes the lead with a beautiful relationship song, Hey Babe, Open Up Your Mind. Taylor shines on several other tracks on the album including a wonderful version of John Lennon’s You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away, and extraordiary song called Keep On Keeping On, and the definitive version of Bye Bye Love.
Another highlight of the album is another Dylan cover, Spanish Harlem Incident, a version which has not been surpassed, and which Taylor most minimal contribution makes all the differnce in making this a great song. Finally I would be remiss in not praising their cover of Ian Tyson's The Renegade. It is one of most moving and poignant songs ever written about the effects of white man on Native Indian culture.
Sadly, this is only Pozo-Seco album that has not been released on CD, but we’ll let you hear a few of our favorite selections here. The album was co-produced by Bob Johnston, the same guy who produced Dylan's Highway 61 Revisted, Blonde on Blonde, John Wesley Harding, and Nashville Skyline, and New Morning, as well as Simon and Garfunkel's Sounds of Silence, Parsley Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme, and Bookends.
Susan Taylor has not totally disappered, but now goes by the name of Taylor Pie. She continues to sing and record, and will we do a feature on her soon.
For now we'll let you know that you can buy her music and find out about her amazing life at:
by Charly Mann
It seems that almost everyone I know, including myself, has some obsession or behavior they cannot control despite the negative consequences associated with it. Why do we spend excessive amounts of time doing things that rarely give us much satisfaction? Experts agree that narcissistic individuals most frequently display addictive behavior. In other words, people who lack a strong feeling of self-worth develop a compulsion in order to generate a feeling of external validation. While these people may seem egotistical, they are actually emotionally empty.
In my world I see many forms of compulsive behavior, including addictions to gambling, collecting things, shopping, eating disorders, drugs, workaholism and sex. All of the people I know who exhibit these symptoms seem to have some unmet emotional need they are trying to satisfy.
Men and women manifest their compulsions differently. For example men with compulsive sexual behavior outnumber women 5 to 1. Women, on the other hand, outnumber men by the same ratio with eating disorders. And while men are likely to be obsessive in having serial unromantic sex, women are often addicted to "falling in love" with men they hardly know. Men and women both share a compulsion for collecting. My own compulsion has been collecting recorded music most of my life. This collection includes a wide variety of music over the last one hundred years, and at one time required more than 1,200 square feet of storage space just to hold my phonograph albums. Thanks to digital storage, and my commitment in recent years to only keep what I will actually listen to on a semi-regular basis, I no longer have a storage problem, but I still sometimes spend more hours on this pursuit than is reasonable or rational.
Treatment for compulsive and addictive behavior has grown rapidly in recent years. Psychiatrists often prescribe antidepressants to ease one's feelings of worthlessness and dampen compulsive drives.
I think one can start with a big dose of self-help to cure compulsive behavior. First ask yourself whether you have lost the ability to control yourself in some area of your life. If so, think long and hard about the negative consequences that from this habit. Ask yourself if there is some inner need, past hurt, or other unhappiness you are trying to overcome with your obsession. I believe most of us can control habitual bad behavior if we first admit it to ourselves, and then focus on the negative consequences of the behavior. I can say from my experience, and from that of a close friend who was addicted to gambling, that just talking about it, and committing to take radical steps to alter the problem, produces a wonderful high and inner calmness that exceeds any thrill we ever received from our compulsions. Once you face up to your addiction you will find that a life without obsession is far more satisfying than what you experienced with your addiction. In the end, fixing the problem will help instill the self-worth and validation you seek, and is likely to produce greater emotional intimacy in your personal relationships.
There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.
The great breakthrough in one's life comes when you realize that you can learn anything you need to learn to accomplish any goal you set for yourself. This means there are no limits on what you can be.
In questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual.
We're not meant to fit in. We're meant to stand out.
If you love life, life will love you back.
Life isn't about finding yourself; it's about creating yourself.
Making a living is not the same as making a life.
Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think of you.
I don't need a friend who changes when I change and who nods when I nod, my shadow does that much better.
If you were all alone in the universe with no one to talk to, no one with which to share the beauty of the stars, to laugh with, to touch, what would be your purpose in life? It is other life, it is love, which gives your life meaning. This is harmony. We must discover the joy of each other, the joy of challenge, the joy of growth.
Judge yourself by your actions and not your intentions.
Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishments.
Call it Nature, Fate, or Fortune; all are names of God.
Remember to work hard. Look to the future with enthusiasm and hope. Accept responsibility, not only asking for your own rights, but also accepting responsibility for yourself, for other people, for nature and for future generations.
Goals are a means to an end, not the ultimate purpose of our lives. They are simply a tool to concentrate our focus and move us in a direction. The only reason we really pursue goals is to cause ourselves to expand and grow. Achieving goals by themselves will never make us happy in the long term; it�s who you become, as you overcome the obstacles necessary to achieve your goals, that can give you the deepest and most long-lasting sense of fulfillment.
Your imagination is your preview of life's coming attractions.
Ethical existence is the highest manifestation of spirituality.
My desire for knowledge is intermittent; but my desire to commune with the spirit of the universe, to be intoxicated with the fumes, call it, of that divine nectar, to bear my head through atmospheres and over heights unknown to my feet, is perennial and constant.
One-half of life is luck; the other half is discipline - and that's the important half, for without discipline you wouldn't know what to do with luck.
It is not the man who has too little, but the man who craves more, that is poor.
Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.
By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.
There are two ways to slide easily through life: to believe everything or to doubt everything; both ways save us from thinking.
Adults are obsolete children.
You will never be the person you can be if pressure, tension, and discipline are taken out of your life.
Love never dies a natural death. It dies because we don't know how to replenish its source. It dies of blindness and errors and betrayals. It dies of illness and wounds; it dies of weariness, of withering, of tarnishing.
True happiness is to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future.
Love doesn't make the world go 'round; love is what makes the ride worthwhile.
If you're never scared or embarrassed or hurt, it means you never take chances.
Great minds have purposes, others have wishes.
Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.
Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.
The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.
We can't measure out goodness by what we don't do, by what we deny ourselves, or by what we resist, and who we exclude; but we should measure our goodness by what we embrace, what we create, and who we include.
Evil (ignorance) is like a shadow. It has no real substance of its own. It is simply a lack of light. You cannot cause a shadow to disappear by trying to fight it, stamp on it, by railing against it, or any other form of emotional or physical resistance. In order to cause a shadow to disappear, you must shine light on it.
The difference between adults and children is that adults don't ask questions.
No life ever grows great until it is focused, dedicated, disciplined.
You must live for another if you wish to live for yourself.
Why is there something rather than nothing? We do not know. We will never know. Why? To what purpose? We do not know whether there is a purpose. But if it is true that nothing is born of nothing, the very existence of something - the world, the universe - would seem to imply that there has always been something: that being is eternal, uncreated, perhaps creator, and this is what some people call God.
What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters compared to what lives within us.
The shortest way to do many things is to do one thing at a time.
Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.
A life, if well lived, is long enough.
The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.
Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent.
The first step in the acquisition of wisdom is silence, the second listening, the third memory, the fourth practice, the fifth teaching others.
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt within the heart.
If you have integrity, nothing else matters. If you don't have integrity, nothing else matters.
Happy are those who dream dreams and are ready to pay the price to make them come true.
It's not enough to have lived. We should be determined to live for something. May I suggest that it be creating joy for others, sharing what we have for the betterment of humankind, bringing hope to the lost and love to the lonely.
When it comes to eating right and exercising, there is no "I'll start tomorrow." Tomorrow is disease.
Science may have found a cure for most evils; but it has found no remedy for the worst of them all -- the apathy of human beings.
Experience taught me a few things. One is to listen to your gut, no matter how good something sounds on paper. The second is that you're generally better off sticking with what you know. And the third is that sometimes your best investments are the ones you don't make.
The greatest weakness of most humans is their hesitancy to tell others how much they love them while they're still alive.
Happiness is as a butterfly which, when pursued, is always beyond our grasp, but which if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.
Overcome your fears and you can reach your potential.
Science is organized knowledge. Wisdom is organized life.
Six essential qualities that are the key to success: Sincerity, personal integrity, humility, courtesy, wisdom, charity.
Only Ideas have long and lasting consequences, and ideas come mainly from books not television, movies, or video games.
Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.
True love is eternal, infinite, and always like itself. It is equal and pure, without violent demonstrations: it is seen with white hairs and is always young in the heart.
Life is a marathon, not a sprint.
You have succeeded in life when all you really want is only what you really need.
It's not how much money you make that's important - it's how much money you keep and how long you keep it.
Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding.
Where all think alike, no one thinks very much.
The only way to change your life is to change your mind.
No pessimist ever discovered the secret of the stars or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a new doorway to the human spirit.
To say that a man is your Friend, means commonly no more than this, that he is not your enemy. Most contemplate only what would be the accidental and trifling advantages of Friendship, as that the Friend can assist in time of need by his substance, or his influence, or his counsel. Even the utmost goodwill and harmony and practical kindness are not sufficient for Friendship, for Friends do not live in harmony merely, as some say, but in melody.
If you are going through hell, keep going.
I have six great friends that taught me all I knew; their names are What and Why and When and How and Where and Who.
Very few people really care about freedom, about liberty, about the truth, very few. Very few people have guts, the kind of guts on which a real democracy has to depend. Without people with that sort of guts a free society dies or cannot be born.
If you cannot accept fear of failure, you will never be successful.
The good life is inspired by love and guided by knowledge.
Reduce the complexity of life by eliminating the needless wants of life, and the labors of life reduce themselves.
Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.
A certain degree of physical harmony and comfort is necessary, but above a certain level it becomes a hindrance instead of a help.
Nothing is as weak as a relationship that has not been tested under fire.
Too many people spend money they haven't earned, to buy things they don't want, to impress people they don't like.
Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something.
There are two things to aim at in life: first, to get what you want, and after that to enjoy it. Only the wisest of mankind achieve the second.
Money can contribute significantly to happiness if spent wisely.
Money often costs too much.
Passion is the genesis of genius.
Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.
Love your enemies; do good to those who hate you; bless those who curse you; pray for those who treat you spitefully. When a man hits you on the cheek, offer him the other cheek too; when a man takes your coat, let him have your shirt as well. Give to everyone who asks you; when a man takes what is yours, do not demand it back. Treat others as you would like them to treat you. If you love only those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. Again, if you do good only to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do as much. And if you lend only where you expect to be repaid, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to each other to be repaid in full. But you must love your enemies and do good; and lend without expecting any return; and you will have a rich reward: you will be sons of the Most High, because he himself is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be compassionate as your Father is compassionate.
We learn wisdom from failure much more than from success. We often discover what will do, by finding out what will not do; and probably he who never made a mistake never made a discovery.
Our prayers should be for blessings in general, for God knows best what is good for us.
If a problem cannot be solved, then you need to find the best way to manage it.
The greatest wealth is health.
Modesty forbids what the law does not.
Wisdom is the supreme part of happiness.
You may think that you are the product of events that are largely beyond your control, but you do control the moment. The present is the time you take control of what your future will be.
Believe those who are seeking the truth; doubt those who find it.
An idealist believes the short run doesn't count. A cynic believes the long run doesn't matter. A realist believes that what is done or left undone in the short run determines the long run.
Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.
Self-pity is our worst enemy.
It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely.
Any so-called material thing that you want is merely a symbol: you want it not for itself, but because it will content your spirit for the moment.
An object in possession seldom retains the same charm that it had in pursuit.
Three great forces rule the world: stupidity, fear and greed.
An intellectual is a person who is always seeking knowledge and has the ability to change his mind when he learns new information.
Materialism is the only form of distraction from true bliss.
To be able to fill leisure intelligently is the last product of civilization, and at present very few people have reached this level.