When the tide goes out we learn who has been swimming without clothes

The Lucky Country tends to lack the entrepreneurial spirit.

The reasons behind this are many, my personal view is that it’s a function of the incentives in the economy; for four decades, Australians have been rewarded by investing in property or working in industries relating to it.

The corollary to this is that there’s been few reasons and rewards for investing one’s cash or pension into stocks, shares, bonds and non-property assets.

Some people have won bigly in this environment. Fair play to them, they followed the cues and were rewarded accordingly.

Mark Bouris is one such big winner. In the 1990s he made his fortune in the mortgage finance business and has continued to go from strength to strength ever since.

The danger of viewing this type of success from a distance is believing that it is a) due to the unique and mercurial skills of the winner and, b) that it is repeatable across industries and markets or indeed, time.

In other words, just because Mark made a large fortune from real estate in a market where everyone made small fortune from real estate, it doesn’t necessarily follow that he can continue to make money in different areas or even in his area of expertise.

Today will be interesting, therefore; Yellow Brick Road shares suspended after trading close.

Bill’s Opinion

In a rising market, everyone is a genius.

Mark Bouris’ Yellow Brick Road might be having some innocent difficulties with the regular filing requirements.

On the other hand, 18 months into a property price downturn and an environment of tighter lending, one company has to be the first major casualty.

On verra.

5 Replies to “When the tide goes out we learn who has been swimming without clothes”

  1. The full quote being “Australia is a lucky country run mainly by second rate people who share its luck. It lives on other people’s ideas, and, although its ordinary people are adaptable, most of its leaders (in all fields) so lack curiosity about the events that surround them that they are often taken by surprise.”

    That this was written in 1964 but remains relevant today is quite remarkable.

    But I am sure you knew that.

    In an effort to be positive I would observe that Mark has a strong talent for self promotion, bordering on Trumpesque.

    1. Yes, it’s a great quote and, as you say, unchanged in its relevance.

      Bouris reminds me a little of the UK’s Grant Bovey. A business polymath until the market goes in reverse.

  2. If you want a business that combines some less charismatic characters, less bathing wear, and a tide that receded some time during 2018 with no sign of return, check out Axsesstoday. I am fairly sure it will earn the ‘award’ for the longest ASX suspension in history shortly. There is also the interesting prospect that the apparent low tide is really just the drawing of the water prior to the tsunami crest. I am hoping for a wave of extensive litigation, given the procession of events. Not a peep from ASIC as yet, but if they aren’t too distracted by the prospect of some heart shots on ‘the elephant’ (ie CBA) and others, then they should be watching.

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