Thursday, July 28, 2016

Links

GMO Quarterly Letter: The Duration Connection (LINK)
In the GMO 2Q16 Letter Ben Inker offers a discussion about short-duration risk assets and their potential to offer decent returns over time with less vulnerability to rising discount rates. These assets, generally lumped together under the “alternatives” title, are generally out of favor today given their disappointing performance since the financial crisis, but the characteristics that made them disappoint may well prove a blessing if discount rates start to rise.
Jeff Bezos Beautifully Explains Innovation and Consumer Sovereignty (LINK)

Information asymmetry: Secrets and agents (LINK)
George Akerlof’s 1970 paper, “The Market for Lemons”, is a foundation stone of information economics.
Episode 07 of Malcolm Gladwell's Revisionist History podcast (LINK)
In 1984, Elvis Costello released what he would say later was his worst record: Goodbye Cruel World. Among the most discordant songs on the album was the forgettable “The Deportees Club.” But then, years later, Costello went back and re-recorded it as “Deportee,” and today it stands as one of his most sublime achievements. 
“Hallelujah” is about the role that time and iteration play in the production of genius, and how some of the most memorable works of art had modest and undistinguished births.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Links

GMO's Mean-Reversion Strategy Is Tested in Today's Market [H/T Abnormal Returns] (LINK)

The Brooklyn Investor blog: Record Valuation Spreads! (LINK)

Steve Keen talks with Merryn Somerset Webb (video) (LINK)
Related 1992 article mentioned by Keen: Maastricht and All That - by Wynne Godley
Investing quote of the day: "George Soros has a philosophy that I have also adopted: The way to build long-term returns is through preservation of capital and home runs....I've learned many things from [Soros], but perhaps the most significant is that it's not whether you're right or wrong that's important, but how much money you make when you're right and how much you lose when you're wrong. The few times that Soros has ever criticized me was when I was really right on a market and didn't maximize the opportunity." -Stanley Druckenmiller (via the book The New Market Wizards)

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Links

How Warren Buffett & Elon Musk Both Compete and Contrast on Energy [H/T Linc] (LINK)

Greenlight Capital's Q2 Letter (LINK)

Notes on Credit Acceptance Corp (CACC) - By John Huber (LINK)

Unilever Acquires Dollar Shave Club: Was The Rubicon Just Crossed? - by Shai Dardashti (LINK)

Platform wars: the final score - by Benedict Evans (LINK)

Midsize Companies Shouldn’t Confuse Growth with Scaling [H/T Abnormal Returns] (LINK)

Dolly at 20: The inside story on the world’s most famous sheep (LINK)

Warren Buffett on taking a big swing...

From the 1998 video linked to yesterday:
"A few things have worked out very well [for me]. And the nice thing about the investment business is that you don't need very many. You'll see plenty of times when you get chances to do things that just shout at you. And the thing you have to do is, when that happens, you have to take a big swing. That is no time to be reading a book on the theory of diversification....When you find something where you know the business is within your circle of competence, you understand it, the price is right, the people are right--then you take your thumb out of your mouth and you barrel in."

Monday, July 25, 2016

Links

1998 video: Warren Buffett & Bill Gates Discuss Innovation, Business and Success [H/T ValueWalk] (LINK)
Related article about the event: The Bill & Warren Show
1960 Speech by Dave Packard to HP Managers [H/T @trengriffin] (LINK)
Related book: The HP Way
Trust experts on anything but the future - by Matt Ridley (LINK)

Stock Investors Pay Up for Peace of Mind [H/T @jasonzweigwsj] (LINK)
Related previous link: Horizon Kinetics: How Indexation is Creating New Opportunities for Short-Sellers, And Why This Should Alarm Ordinary Buyers of Stock and Bond ETFs
EconTalk: Angela Duckworth on Grit (LINK)
Related book: Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance
Intelligence Squared - “Richard Dawkins: The Rational Revolutionary” (podcast) (LINK) [Related books HERE.]

Hawaii's Lava Flow Is a Mesmerizing Force (video) (LINK)

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Links

Arnold Van Den Berg: "Experiential Wisdom on Value Investing" | Talks at Google (LINK)

Tren Griffin: A Dozen Things I Learned Being Involved in one of the Most Ambitious Startups Ever Conceived (Teledesic) (LINK)

Jeff Bezos Moves Past Warren Buffett on World's Richest List (LINK)

Part 1 of Kevin Kelly's interview with London Real, discussing his book The Inevitable (video) (LINK)

The Knowledge Project podcast: Véronique Rivest (LINK)
On this episode, I talked with Véronique Rivest, one of the most respected sommeliers in the world, about one of my favorite subjects: Wine. We're going to go through a tasting, and learn some everyday tips and tricks.
Nate Silver: How I Acted Like A Pundit And Screwed Up On Donald Trump [H/T Linc] (LINK)

Brain Pickings (2013) - A Calendar of Wisdom: Tolstoy on Knowledge and the Meaning of Life (LINK)
Related book: A Calendar of Wisdom
Similar designs, 100 million years apart (LINK)

Friday, July 22, 2016

Links

Warren Buffett Deputy Ted Weschler Makes His Mark (LINK)

Horizon Kinetics Q2 Conference Call (video/audio) (LINK) [The Q2 Commentary is also HERE.]

The Strategy Tax - by Ben Carlson (LINK)

Grant's Interest Rate Observer from 1987: Sell Donald Trump (LINK)
“Boy, you got me good,” Donald Trump told the editor of Grant’s. 
As The Wall Street Journal reports today, The Donald reacted with uncommon charity to a prescient Grant’s article in 1987 headed “Sell Donald Trump.”
The Global Economy’s Hesitation Blues - by Robert Shiller (LINK)

A Guide to Marketplaces (LINK)
Related previous links: 1) Marketplaces (and Network Effects); and 2) a16z Podcast: Getting Network Effects
Exponent podcast: Episode 086 — Falling a Pokémon Off a Cliff (LINK)

The turquoise killfish only lives for 3 months, but could help unlock the secrets of ageing (LINK)

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Links

Warren Buffett videos from CNBC this morning:
Warren Buffett: How to fix boardrooms across the US 
Buffett: Guidance could lead to malpractice
The Motivation Toolkit (LINK)

Marketplaces (and Network Effects) (video) (LINK)
Related previous link: a16z Podcast: Getting Network Effects
William Mougayar: "Blockchains: Past, Present and Future" | Talks at Google (LINK)
Related book: The Business Blockchain
Ryan Holiday: "Ego is the Enemy" | Talks at Google (LINK)
Related book: Ego Is the Enemy 
Episode 06 of Malcolm Gladwell's Revisionist History podcast (LINK)
In the early ’90s, Hank Rowan gave $100 million to a university in New Jersey, an act of extraordinary generosity that helped launch the greatest explosion in educational philanthropy since the days of Andrew Carnegie and the Rockefellers. But Rowan gave his money to Glassboro State University, a tiny, almost bankrupt school in South Jersey, while almost all of the philanthropists who followed his lead made their donations to elite schools such as Harvard and Yale. Why did no one follow Rowan’s example?
How It`s Made | Metal Golf Clubs (video) (LINK)

An Interview With Tony Robbins (LINK)

June was the ninth month in a row that we’ve broken the global high temperature record (LINK)

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Links

DaVita HealthCare Partners (DVA): An Intelligent Fanatic Led Turn Around (LINK)

Unilever Buys Dollar Shave Club for $1 Billion (LINK)

Dollar Shave Club: How Michael Dubin Created A Massively Successful Company and Re-Defined CPG [H/T @iancassel] (LINK)

Dollar Shave Club and The Disruption of Everything -  by Ben Thompson (LINK)

Patrick O'Shaughnessy's Full Recommended Reading List (LINK)

TOXO - A 2009 Conversation with Robert Sapolsky (video and transcript) (LINK)
Related book: Life: The Leading Edge of Evolutionary Biology, Genetics, Anthropology, and Environmental Science
Book of the day: Digital Vortex: How Today's Market Leaders Can Beat Disruptive Competitors at Their Own Game

Monday, July 18, 2016

Links

Bill Gates delivers the Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture [Gates enters about 32 minutes into the video.] (LINK)

Bonds Aren’t as Wretched an Investment as They Seem - by Jason Zweig (LINK)

As Rates Sink, Housing Bubbles Rise (LINK)
Canada, Australia and Sweden are among central banks caught between supporting their economies and addressing financial threats
1992 Harvard Business Review interview with Softbank's Masayoshi Son [H/T Ben Thompson] (LINK)
One success measure was that I should fall in love with a particular business for the next 50 years at least. Very often, people get excited for the first few years, and then, after they see the reality, they get tired of the business. I wanted to choose one that I would feel more and more excited about as the years passed. 
Another factor was that the business should be unique. That was very important to me. I didn’t want anyone else doing exactly the same thing. A third was that within 10 years I wanted to be number one in that particular business, at least in Japan. And I wanted to pick a business where the business category itself would be growing for the next 30 to 50 years. I didn’t want to choose a sinking ship. 
I had all those measurements, about 25 in all, and 40 new ideas. I took a big sheet of paper, and I drew a matrix and put down scores and comments for each. Then I picked the best one, which turned out to be the personal computer software business. That was the start of Softbank.
The Questions That Matter. And the questions that don’t. [H/T @Magyer] (LINK)
Back when I was a junior equity analyst, I asked more than my fair share of questions that didn’t matter. I would dial in to a company’s quarterly conference call and enter the Q&A queue intent on asking the most detailed, nit-picky question I could. Something along the lines of: “I noticed your cash conversion cycle has slowed by a few days sequentially. Could you walk me through what that says about the current demand environment and whether you project any weakness going forward?” 
That looks and sounds like an intelligent question. But why did I ask it? The answer, to the extent there is one, would be immaterial to my analysis. A 10-year discounted cash flow model with a terminal growth rate — or any other model for that matter — is not sensitive to such a short-term input. 
Instead, I asked it to justify my presence on the call. I asked it to demonstrate publicly just how quickly and completely I had dissected the company’s financial filings. And I asked it to prove how hard I was working. I did not ask it expecting to glean an insight that would lead to a better investing outcome.
Book Review: Leadership Lessons from a UPS Driver by Ron Wallace (LINK)
Related book: Leadership Lessons from a UPS Driver: Delivering a Culture of We, Not Me
EconTalk: Ryan Holiday discusses his book Ego Is the Enemy (audio) (LINK)

Simply Complex: The Life and Times of Murray Gell-Mann (video) [H/T @mjmauboussin] (LINK)