Employing databases and statistical skills, academics compute with precision the 'beta' of a stock... then build arcane investment and capital-allocation theories around this calculation. In their hunger for a single statistic to measure risk they forget a fundamental principle: It is better to be approximately right than precisely wrong.
In recent years, probity has eroded. Many major corporations still play things straight, but a significant and growing number... have come to the view that it's okay to manipulate earnings to satisfy what they believe are Wall Street's desires... many CEOs think this kind of manipulation is not only okay, but actually their duty.
You do things when the opportunities come along. I've had periods in my life when I've had a bundle of ideas come along, and I've had long dry spells. If I get an idea next week, I'll do something. If not, I won't do a damn thing.