There’s a saying in business that, “if you’re not growing, you’re dying”. You could substitute “learning” for “growing” and the saying would be as catchy, and as true.
Two Blockbuster Deals: One Theme
Recently, there has been two noteworthy deals which both speak to an important and ever-present thematic: the importance of ongoing education and learning. On March 25th news broke that Northwest Mutual purchased LearnVest for $250M. LearnVest is a company who approached financial planning and education in a unique and innovative way.
On April 9th, the news was released that Lynda.com was acquired by LinkedIn for $1.5B. The success of Lynda is an excellent story, which we’ll dive deeper into below, but their value proposition was simply and eloquently stated in their mission statement: “to help you learn the skills you need to achieve your full potential.”
Both deals are examples of a drum we pound constantly at Dividend.com and attempt to impart our leanings with the Dividend.com community and share experiences with them and learn together: never stop learning.
Another Great Lesson from Lynda.com
While the headline news of Lynda.com, an online educational resource, certainly speaks to our belief in the need to constantly learn and grow, it also illustrates something that we all need to ‘learn’ and re-learn through our investing journeys, that being the power of long-term thinking.
While the $1.5B price tag that LinkedIn reportedly paid for Lynda.com likely induces thoughts of bean bag-chair-riddled-offices, scruffy co-founders whizzing by on scooters and beer pong games happening in the background, the story of Lynda is quite different than the meteoric rise of companies that has been popularized as a narrative with the recent age of mega-start-ups. Lynda.com was the turtle, and slow and steady definitely won the race.
In Internet terms, Lynda.com was founded back in the Palaeolithic days, the early part of the stone age — 1995! Google wasn’t even a flicker of a company in either Sergey Brin or Larry Page’s mind’s back then, in fact the two Google co-founders hadn’t even yet started the research project that became the basis for the company, way back in ‘95. But Lynda Weinman’s e-learning site was up and running.
The Long Term Mind Set Can Be a Big Winner
Something we’ve learned related to dividend investing is that given the power of compound interest, re-invested dividends, and long periods of steady dividend growth, you have a winning formula. The trick is to keep on it as other “quick win” strategies will inevitably distract you from the real prize.
That must have been the mentality that powered Lynda. Her passion for teaching and the joy she got from others learning was her reward. Being disciplined enough to stay on course and build a web behemoth over 20 years is impressive.
Hat Tip and Re-Confirmation
We tip our hats to the teams at Lynda.com and Learnvest and thank them for re-confirming the power of life-long learning, including the lesson of sticking to one’s beliefs and staying the course over long stretches of time.
If we all continue to learn and take a long-term approach to dividend investing, I have no doubt we’ll continue to be successful.
Have a great rest of the weekend and talk to you tomorrow!
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