In the punk era of the late 1970s the only bands believed to have any chance of success were those that looked awful and sounded worse. The 21st-century investment equivalent of the successful punk band is the hi-tech behemoth that swallows up huge amounts of cash and may or may not make a profit. Amazon’s seeming refusal to demand profits from eye-watering levels of investment did nothing to temper investor sentiment. To the delight of its dividend-deprived shareholders it used its stratospheric rating to secure funding to develop new business opportunities. Twitter made its first quarterly profit in the company’s 12-year history in December last year and is expecting to make its first-ever full-year profit this year. The lack of profit hasn’t dented investor enthusiasm for the shares, which were listed six years ago. Over at Tesla, Elon Musk seems to have a particular disregard for profits. You might think this presents a challenge to remuneration committees; if companies aren’t m...

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