Todds Terrace, St. George. Barbados

Economic and Financial Analysis: The Stories behind the Data with Mr. Bruce Hennis (Part 2)

(The following article is based on a Rethink Network interview. Part 2 of a 4-Part Series)

The Story in the Data 

Bruce reveals that when it comes to analysing financial and economic data, it is important to be able to:

  1. Look for a story in what the numbers are saying to you.
  2. Be prepared to dig deep and also be prepared to go back as far as possible if necessary. He admits that his engineering background is what shaped this approach.
  3. Most importantly of all, step back and find out what God Himself is saying at particular points in time. 

Thus, for example, at the global economic level, consider why was there a major crisis in:

  • 1769 [The Great East Indian Crash],
  • 1873, 
  • 1929,
  • 2008; 
  • 2015 [The Chinese stock market turbulence began with the popping of the stock market bubble on 12 June 2015 followed by the January 2016 global rout; or the Russian Financial Crisis of 2016]
  • The various crises of 2022 and 2023.

A Holistic View

For persons entering this field, many years ago Bruce would have said that you had to be highly numerate in order to be able to sit down and analyse numbers. However, years of experience and his own work have taught him to see things differently:

Philip Lord Carret (November 29, 1896 – May 28, 1998), who was an investor and founder (in 1928) of one of the first mutual funds in the United States which still exists and of whom Warren Buffett had described as having ‘the best long-term investment record’ of anyone I know myself, once described his own investment process:

“If the balance sheet figures look right, I come to the next and hardest part — appraising management.”    Philip Carret

In other words, Bruce too had to learn how to take a holistic viewpoint in his own analysis (not just being purely numerical) – a viewpoint that has paid dividends.

In fact, in his book: “That Extraordinary Leader”, in the 5th which is entitled “Establishing Sound Managerial Teams”, Bruce gives the story of what he calls, “The 2 Steves” and which goes as follows:

“Steve Wozniak worked at Hewlett-Packard (HP) during the day, as his main source of employment, designing Scientific calculators. However, during his spare time at night and on weekends, Wozniak worked on what would become the Apple I computer, when he left Hewlett-Packard to join Steve Jobs in starting Apple Inc.

The Long-term Outcome:

  • At the end of the financial year in 2020: Apple Inc. recorded revenues of just over $274 billion; 
  • At the end of 2018: Hewlett Packard Inc. and the Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company, recorded combined revenues of $84 billion.

Simply put, Apple Inc. grew to become a corporation that was over 3 times larger than the HP, even in spite of the fact that the Hewlett Packard already existed as a business 30 years before Apple Inc. was started, all because of the unmeasured value that lay in an individual called Steve.”

Thus, people are very valuable and it requires a holistic approach to recognise this.

*Stay tuned for Part 3 as Bruce shares about High Performance Businesses

Bruce’s Books Available on

  • Ancient Business Secrets: Prayer and Profits
  • That Extraordinary Leader

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