How time flies! Labor Day is over. Autumn is almost here. We can learn a lot about international investments and international business by thinking about light, time and space. In fact we can learn about the world and life itself through time. Time and space would seem to be just about everything…Life is time. Time and space, we are told, are part and parcel of nature’s immutable law, the speed of light.
But are they? According to a New York Time’s article “Light’s Most Exotic Trick Yet: So Fast it Goes … Backwards?” light can be sped up or slowed down or even made to go backwards.
The article says: “In the past few years, scientists have found ways to make light go both faster and slower than its usual speed limit, but now researchers at the University of Rochester have published a paper today in Science on how they’ve gone one step further: pushing light into reverse. As if to defy common sense, the backward-moving pulse of light travels faster than light. Confused? You’re not alone. ‘I’ve had some of the world’s experts scratching their heads over this one,’ says Robert Boyd, the M. Parker Givens Professor of Optics at the University of Rochester . ‘Theory predicted that we could send light backwards, but nobody knew if the theory would hold up or even if it could be observed in laboratory conditions.’ Boyd recently showed how he can slow down a pulse of light to slower than an airplane, or speed it up faster than its breakneck pace, using exotic techniques and materials. But he’s now taken what was once just a mathematical oddity—negative speed—and shown it working in the real world.” You can read the entire article at Light’s Most Exotic Trick Yet: So Fast it Goes … Backwards?
I read the link and my understandings of physics fell short. I’ll just accept this as fact. The speed of light and hence time and space are not immutable. They, like everything else, are subject to change.
Time can change and times change. As investors and business people we had better accept this fact and adjust our time to the times! One interesting way to understand change is to see how the Timex Corporation has changed with the times. What could be more related to life, time and change than Timex?
Timex sure had an impact on my life. During my youth Timex was a huge company. When I graduated from high school my graduation gift was a Timex, my first watch. We did not seem to need watches in high school. We had those big clocks that clicked away the minutes instead.
I wore that Timex for several years, in college and when I became an insurance salesman. Then upon arriving in Hong Kong I hired a batch of salesmen and one told me that I needed something more important, like a Rolex. That was in the late 60s. Even then Rolex was too bulky for me so I settled for a nice, very thin, gold Swiss Girard Perregaux which I have to this day (but which has been in my watch drawer for about 20 years). Then the Japanese jumped into the watch game and I bought a very nice stainless steel quartz Seiko. I wore that for years until I lost it somewhere.
Today, on the rare times when I wear a watch, it is once again a Timex, an Expedition that cost me something like twenty nine bucks! I love the Indiglo feature. Plus when traveling an expensive watch is like a neon sign on the wrist shouting, “Rob me!”
These changing watch habits tell a tale about changing times.
Timex is an American Icon headquartered in Middlebury, Connecticut. The roots of this business began in 1854 as the Waterbury Clock in Connecticut. Its sister company, Waterbury Watch, began making wristwatches in 1933 when they started to become a popular alternative to the pocket watch.
In the 50s the company renamed itself the Time Company and introduced a wristwatch called the Timex. With the help of former Olympic broadcaster, John Cameron Swayze, they floated Timex watches off waterfalls, tied them to ship propellers and punished them in various ways…just to prove how rugged they ran. Sales took off. The company later became Timex Corporation and has sold over a billion watches.
It was natural that as an American kid I wore an American Timex watch.
In the 70s, Timex (along with the Swiss watch industry) was devastated by cheap Asian competition, plus digital quartz watches pioneered by Seiko and other Japanese companies. My switch from a Swiss and Japanese Seiko shows that my watch buying habits were following the global trend.
Timex survived the 70s and 80s and remains profitable. Timex brand has reemerged brand with strong markets in the United States and Canada. Its one of the most sold watches today.
Like the idea of investing in Timex?
Sorry, it is privately owned and does not publish annual report or issue shares.
So that’s a sign of the times…a successful, all American private company. Right?
If you believe this I have a watch to sell you!
First of all, Timex is not so All American. This in itself tells a story of changing times.
As of 2006, it had 5,500 employees on four continents. Second, according to Price Waterhouse Cooper, in 1980 a Lichtenstein trust, Ptarmigan, was incorporated by a person situated in Switzerland (read probably a Swiss lawyer here), and three trustees were appointed. Members of the Olsen family were made beneficiaries of the trust. A conglomerate of companies, with its holding company in the Netherlands, was contributed to the trust (among them 75% of Timex Group BV). Shortly after incorporation the trust also acquired a company, with a guarantee for the financing from a company in the Fred Olsen-group, the previous owner of Timex.
In short it appears that Timex became mostly a Netherlands Antilles company owned by a Lichtenstein trust formed by a Swiss person on behalf of the Fred Olson, group which is a Norwegian company. The formation of this trust as a matter of note led to Norwegian tax litigation when the beneficiaries of the trust (we assume they are Norwegian for tax purposes) had a bit of bother from the Oslo tax authorities.
Third, the Timex brand is sold worldwide. In addition, Timex sells many other brands including Guess, Nautica, Ecko, Opex and even Versace. Imagine that, high fashion watches really being a Timex?
Fourth, Timex watches are manufactured in the Hong Kong and Switzerland, often from technology created in Germany. Timex has operations in China , the Philippines and India plus big sales companies in Canada, the UK, France and Mexico.
Fifth, and finally you can buy Timex shares…in India.
In India, Timex has done well marketing to the Indian Cognocenti (defined my Mirriam Webster Dictionary as a person who has expert knowledge in a subject) whatever that means. Over the last two years, Timex has emerged as a sporty, techy and fashionable international brand in India. Timex has captured dramatic market share amongst the young and young-at-heart, the internationally oriented, upwardly mobile, sporty, fashion conscious and those who follow the latest trends in technology.
According to an article in the India Times, Timex hopes to open about 120 franchised stores across the country by the end of 2007. These stores are planned to be launching pads for the other brands of which Timex owns the rights including Opex and Guess. In the meantime Timex also has shop-in-shop corners which are branded as “Club Timex”.
The 2005 article says: “Currently, Timex is in the last leg of a significant restructuring in India where it has shifted its entire manufacturing operations from Noida to Parwanoo in Himachal Pradesh. While the company came out of the red last financial year, Timex is expected to see the effects of the shift in operations this financial year. “In the next few quarters there might be some negative impact on the bottom line but that is natural as we are in the transition mode,” said Kapoor. With consolidated operations and new retail strategy Timex is looking for much higher sales from India which happens to be its single largest market for Timex in Asia, even ahead of China .”
Timex shares are listed on The Bombay Stock Exchange Limited (BSE). This is the oldest stock exchange in Asia established in 1875. There are around 3,500 Indian companies listed with the stock exchange, and has a significant trading volume. As of July 2005, the market capitalization of the BSE was about US $ 466 billion. The BSE 30 index, is a widely used market index in India and Asia . As of 2005, it is among the 5 biggest stock exchanges in the world in terms of transactions volume.
You can read about the BSE Timex Watch Company listing at http://www.bseindia.com/price_finder/stockreach.asp?scripcd=500414
This is not a recommendation for Timex shares but rather a reminder of how time and times change…how business and hence investing has changed as well.
In fact it’s rather difficult to buy shares in India. I checked with Thomas Fischer at Jyske Bank and he replied: “I spoke to the dealing room and it is only Jyske Invest that has a license to trade Indian stocks. Apparently it is quite difficult to get a license and Jyske Bank does not have one at the moment.”
I personally have invested instead in the Jyske Invest Indian Equity Fund. This fund has performed quite nicely as well. Our Borrow Low-Deposit High service placed $75,000 of this fund in the Emerging Asia model portfolio we track a little over ten months ago and it’s worth $105,440.10 now. I guess I can but lots of Timex watches with that!
Double your profit potential with the MultiCurrency Sandwich. Learn how to leverage investments using Borrow Low deposit High tactics through our tracking service. See Borrow Low Deposit High – How to Use the Multicurrency Sandwich
You can get details about the Jyske Invest Indian Equity Fund from Thomas Fischer at firstname.lastname@example.org
Join Merri and me this November 9-12, 2006 in Ecuador. Meet economic experts from Jyske Bank and learn about how to invest in India, China, Eastern Europe, Latin America and more. See International Business Made EZ, Ecuador
Five Levels of Beauty
We can see from this thinking that there is more than one level to the inner workings of a watch. This is also true of beauty and good health.
Yesterday’s message began a series on “The Glow of Total Beauty” an article written by Melina L. Takvorian (PhD)* (see International Investments in Eastern Europe Makes Sense for part one).
Part one showed that the physical, external beauty the world tends to seek is only one small part of total beauty. According to Vaidya Rama Mishra there are five levels of beauty, the physical external, spiritual, emotional mental and sensual.
Dr. Takvorian’s article continues and today’s portion of this health series looks at the second sheath of total beauty, spiritual beauty:
“However, there is more! (Than the dimensions of physical external and internal beauty). Aside from the harmonious interaction of the different dimensions amongst themselves, each dimension has to display an integral harmonious activity within itself as well. Vaidya Mishra explains how each aspect or dimension of beauty needs to display a level of harmonious transformative integration with itself and then in relation to the other dimensions. ‘Beauty’ then is the result of such optimal transformative activity taking place locally and overall. These micro- and macro- transformations are auspicious in the sense that they generate total harmony within and without the sheaths, they re-align the proper harmonious functioning on the local and expanded levels. Beauty is the result of such auspiciousness found in and out; it is ‘enlivened’ and then maintained on every level independently, in concordance with the other levels, totally.
“But what specifically does it mean to enliven beauty on each level; and how is it done? Vaidya Mishra takes us to every level, explaining what beauty literally means on each level, and how each can be enlivened.
Spiritual beauty is the first level he addresses, since according to the ayurvedic texts, this level being the subtlest in terms of material _expression, it constitutes the remaining layers or sheaths from within. He explains that in the ayurvedic compendium of Carak, the Carak Samhita, spiritual beauty is referred to as ‘prabha’. What is prabha?
“Carak states that prabha is the ‘aura of the light that emanates from the gem sitting in the heart.’ While the metaphor is poetic, the image does not remain an abstraction! The Upanishads, the philosophical commentaries on the ancient Vedic texts, speak of the human soul invoking the image of a precious gem that emanates – rather than reflects – light. The light of this gem is referred to as satwa. The subtle aura of this satwa is called prabha. The Upanishads explain how this precious brilliant gem is seated in the chest area in a vibrational lotus known as the heart lotus. This lotus is said to be visible only to the spiritually discerning eye. When the lotus is in full bloom, the light emanating from its gem is said to travel through specific vibrational channels to access the mind (manas). The mind is then said to be ‘in sync’ with or on the same wavelength as the heart. When heart and mind are thus connected, through this light, then the aura or of this light, its prabha, is said to become visible to the naked viewing eye. The prabha is said to radiate through the individual’s entire physiology, but particularly in the face, lending it a glow.
“Thus spiritual beauty, according to ayurved, is a very concrete quality. Even though rooted in the satwa or spiritual awakening of the heart, it displays a concrete presence. We might tend to think that spiritual beauty would pertain only to proper moral and ethical behavior, however, Ayurved shows us that it does not merely amount to ethical or psychological qualities of the heart and mind, that it finds expression in material reality.
“Activities that strengthen the satwa of the heart and strengthen the lotus, such as meditation, yoga, devotional chanting, or prayer, also strengthen the prabha and enhance the glow, because when such activities are practiced with devotion and discipline, they activate the auspicious transformation of the physiology on its most primary levels – mind and heart become (re-) aligned through the pronunciation of specific sounds, specific postures, etc.
“However, what happens if the petals of the heart lotus close in, shutting in the gem? When the heart lotus closes in on itself sheltering the gem, chayya or shadow results. In the absence of the light emanating from it, a gray expression, a lack of luster appears on the face. Heart and mind are then out of sync, and hostile to each other, each attempting to lead the individual into its own path at the expense of the other. Division of opinion can lead to emotional instability and anxiety.
“Vaidya Mishra recommends that a daily regular routine that enlivens the satwa be kept with discipline. Satsangs or listening to and chanting devotional songs and prayers in a group vibrationally awaken the heart lotus, restoring radiance and glow to the expression; a meditation technique that allows the mind to delve into the deeper silent layers of Being is a sure way to enliven the satwa. On a more concrete level, a diet consisting of satwic food, that is, fresh food recently prepared in a settled loving environment and consumed properly will also nourish the heart lotus and strengthen the heart and mind connection. In contrast, keeping a rajasic or tamasic diet or routine will interfere with the vibrations of the heart lotus, shedding a shadow, a chayya on the heart lotus, through the introduction of altering rajasic and tamasic vibrational frequencies into its range. Tom orrow’s message looks at emotional beauty.
You can learn how to gain inner and outer beauty through Ayurved from Dr Mishra at his next El Meson course in Ecuador January 8-10, 2007. See Ayurvedic Cleanse
Beauty Everywhere in Ecuador
The ancient Ecuadorian culture believed in spiritual beauty as well. To them the spirit is an essential part of everything, the connections that hold the universe in place. Thus we see this idea of beauty manifested throughout the country from ancient Inca ruins to wonderful Cathedrals like this one in Quiroga, the village next to Cotacachi
Learn how to learn better, plus Spanish this October. See Super Thinking + Super Memory + Spanish
Until next message, good investing and beauty to you!
P.S. Join Merri and me this November 9-12, 2006 in Ecuador. Meet Steve, our man in Ecuador, and learn about products to export. Meet our Ecuadorian attorney, Dr. Andres Cordova, and learn how to own real estate in Galapagos and the cloud forests. Meet our tour operator, Santiago Guamani, and learn how to create your own tour business. For Ecuador details see International Business Made EZ, Ecuador