When Bill Gates coined the phrase ‘content is king’ in 1996, do you think he anticipated the volume and magnitude that would exist in years to come?
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It was all part of his prediction content would be:
“where much of the real money would be made on the Internet”.
Fast forward 11 years and it happens to be the very fuel keeping the Internet’s fire burning.
Social networks, search engines and every online application offer us a platform to discover, upload and share content.
Google processes 63,000 search queries per second – translating to a staggering 5.5 billion searches per day worldwide. In Australia alone, 70% of the population are spending an average 1.7 hours per day on Facebook.
It’s part of what makes these technology giants such lucrative investments – you can almost safely assume Google and Facebook will continue to take the world on this content journey for many years to come.
However, does content itself continue to reign supreme as Gates forecasted? Or has the age of too much information caused a paradigm shift?
New King on the Block
To keep with his feudal system theme, the shift has meant context and relevance are the kings while content is more like the baron.
This is especially true for anything investing-related. You often have to make it through a haze of technical information and navigate a lot of noise before drawing any accurate conclusions.
One of the most common investing traps is the notion that overloading yourself with unfiltered information will breed success.
There are usually only a handful of crucial factors influencing market performance, and an information overload can cloud your ability to pick up on these factors – particularly if you’re looking at too many sources at once.
The Buffett Effect
If you were to follow in Warren Buffett’s footsteps (not the worst idea, as the godfather of investing is worth a cool US$74 billion) you would spend ideally 80% of the day reading and thinking.
Most people don’t have that much time up their sleeves, let alone the additional hours needed to extract meaning from what is already complex information to begin with. Buffett has a partner-in-crime to do this for him.
Charlie Munger goes beyond the mere words on a page:
“We read a lot. I don’t know anyone who’s wise who doesn’t read a lot. But that’s not enough: You have to have a temperament to grab ideas and do sensible things. Most people don’t grab the right ideas or don’t know what to do with them”.
So if Buffett has Munger, how does the average person looking to grow their wealth make informed investing decisions?
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