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Hey Neil, here are two takeaways from Ray's post:

1. How important is management competence in your analysis process? What qualities are you looking for when you assess management? What standards are you going to require of your managers? Very much like what process and standards would you use if you were hiring someone for a job?

2. What techniques can I use to improve my analysis? Okapimoon gave us an excellent one when she went to Tableau's trade show. Ray provides another one here with his digging into United Rentals. What we're trying to do here is get better at analysis and these are two outstanding examples of how we can do that.

Of course, this assumes we are in for the long haul -- that we are interested in the compounding effect of *business value*, and not flipping the stock in a year or two to a greater fool. Ray pointed out that the Jacobs regime used tricks to boost United Rentals stock price but the business itself created little value during his tenure. It was only after the Jacobs regime was ousted that the business thrived, and the stock followed suit. Now look at XPO and we see Jacobs using debt and equity to boost earnings but meanwhile destroying value. The pattern appears to be repeating.

Key takeaway: Ray's post was a great example of how to improve our analysis using investigative techniques, and the judgment about XPO was incidental to that message.
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