He completed his graduate work at Trinity College in Hartford, CT and prior to founding his own business, was English instructor and head football coach at Suffield Academy, Suffield, CT from 1953-’60. Jim also founded the J.B. Williams Foundation, with the purpose of putting discovery into education.
In 1965, Jim founded Williams Inference, to serve the investment community by spotting anomalous developments that can be transformed into investment ideas. Today, the organization has clients throughout North America, Europe, Asia, and Australasia.
Jim Williams had a unique approach to investing: He infered. That is, he observed human behavior, looking for anomalies – for events that are unusual, abnormal, and occasionally bizarre – and searched for patterns in those events.
Today the Williams team of inference readers monitors more than 200 publications, seeking early warnings of change in attitudes, trends, and behavior that will ultimately affect the future fortunes of organisations and industries.
How to become aware of anomaly?
Williams described the experience by quoting a favorite passage from Robert Frost:
‘[Poets] stick to nothing deliberately, but let what will stick to them like burrs where they walk in the fields. . .’
Described by Barron’s as a ‘One-Man Think Tank’, Jim was a Sherlock Holmes of his time, sharing his wisdom and knowledge with so many. He helped teach a way of thinking that is tied to keeping an open mind, observing with care, and then drawing inferences. In many ways his legacy will be that he helped people better see and discover the world around them.