Friday, May 26, 2017

Links

"Traditionally the investor has been the man with patience and the courage of his convictions who would buy when the harried or disheartened speculator was selling." -Benjamin Graham & David Dodd, Security Analysis

Don’t Compare Yourself To Others - by Ian Cassel (LINK) [“To be a disciplined investor you have to be willing to stand by and watch other people make money on things that you passed on” – Howard Marks]

Perpetual Beta - by Chris Pavese (LINK)

How to Be Your Own Quant - by Jason Zweig [H/T Linc] (LINK)

Hussman Weekly Market Comment: Being Wrong in an Interesting Way (LINK)

Exponent podcast: Episode 116 — Blockchain Beauty Contest (LINK)

Why Flamingos Are More Stable on One Leg Than Two - by Ed Yong (LINK)

Why Did the Biggest Whales Get So Big? … and perhaps more importantly: when? - by Ed Yong (LINK)

How Zika Conquered the Americas - by Ed Yong (LINK)

Neil deGrasse Tyson talks with Charlie Rose about his latest book, Astrophysics for People in a Hurry (LINK)

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On a separate note.... I've been doing a lot of walking (slowly) over the last few days, and these are probably my favorite pair of shoes I've owned, for those that may be interested (and who like the thin, barefoot-style sole): Merrell Men's Vapor Glove 2 Trail Running Shoe

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Howard Marks Investor Series with Bruce Karsh


Link to video


[H/T ValueWalk]

Epictetus quote

The quote below, via The Daily Stoic, reminded me of the story Warren Buffett often tells about how Ben Graham used the process of mimicking the traits of those he admired, and avoiding the traits of those he disliked, to improve himself as a young man.

“Then what makes a beautiful human being? Isn’t it the presence of human excellence? Young friend, if you wish to be beautiful, then work diligently at human excellence. And what is that? Observe those whom you praise without prejudice. The just or the unjust? The just. The even-tempered or the undisciplined? The even-tempered. The self-controlled or the uncontrolled? The self-controlled. In making yourself that kind of person, you will become beautiful—but to the extent you ignore these qualities, you’ll be ugly, even if you use every trick in the book to appear beautiful.” —Epictetus

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Links

5 Good Summer Reads - By Bill Gates (LINK)

Cloud Computing owner Seth Klarman and trainer Chad Brown describe their horse's Preakness Stakes victory (video) (LINK)

After attending race growing up, Baltimore-raised owner Seth Klarman soaking in Preakness victory [H/T Linc] (LINK)
Though it isn't certain whether Klarman will run Cloud Computing in the Belmont Stakes, it seems doubtful considering that the 3-year-old's first three races all came exactly month apart. The last leg of the Triple Crown will be in three weeks. Nor is Klarman second-guessing himself for not running his horse earlier this month at Churchill Downs. 
"No regrets," he said. "I think possibly some of the reasons we won today was because we were patient and didn't throw an inexperienced horse against a 20-horse field in the Derby on a very difficult track. I think that's actually why we're here today. I also learned in life that you don't look back with a lot of would've, could've, should've. We made a great call, and we're ecstatic and we'll worry about the future, not the past."
How I Built This podcast -- Compaq Computers: Rod Canion (LINK)
In 1981, engineer Rod Canion left Texas Instruments and co-founded Compaq, which created the first IBM-compatible personal computer. This opened the door to an entire industry of PCs that could run the same software. PLUS in our postscript "How You Built That," how frustrated renter Melanie Colón created an easier way to communicate with noisy neighbors, called Apt App.
Latticework of Mental Models: Decision Fatigue (LINK)

Marc Andreessen on the Masters in Business podcast (LINK)

Invest Like the Best podcast: The Art of Asset Allocation, with David Salem (LINK)

Charley Ellis on the Capital Allocators Podcast (LINK)

How Anker is beating Apple and Samsung at their own accessory game (LINK)

Tulips, Myths, and Cryptocurrencies - by Ben Thompson (LINK)

a16z Podcast: The Blockchain, in Congress (LINK)

a16z Podcast: What Technology Wants, Needs, Does (LINK)

John Grisham’s 15-Hour Workweek (LINK)

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Becoming a great investor and a multidisciplinary thinker...

“It’s kind of fun to sit there and outthink people who are way smarter than you are because you’ve trained yourself to be more objective and more multidisciplinary. Furthermore, there is a lot of money in it, as I can testify from my own personal experience.” -Charlie Munger

The above quote is one I think about often. And as I do, I am reminded of a goal of becoming both a great investor as well as a multidisciplinary thinker. If one is in the investment business, there are a few things that I think are key in order to achieve this: 
  • A long-term time horizon when looking at and investing in businesses (~5-10 years, with the potential to hold for longer if business advantages and reinvestment opportunities remain intact), so that one doesn't need to find new ideas on a constant basis. This allows one to take advantage of internal business (and tax-advantaged) compounding, and also allows one the time to read more widely.
  • Good filters (to avoid wasting time on things that one should not have pursued in the first place).
  • No sunk costs (via the example of Daniel Kahneman). 
  • A long-term, patient capital base (or permanent capital if possible).
  • A fairly open and clear calendar (to allow one time to think).

Monday, May 22, 2017

Prioritize...

From The Daily Stoic:
“When children stick their hand down a narrow goody jar they can’t get their full fist out and start crying. Drop a few treats and you will get it out! Curb your desire—don’t set your heart on so many things and you will get what you need.” —Epictetus 
...“Don’t set your heart on so many things,” says Epictetus. Prioritize. Train your mind to ask: Do I need this thing? What will happen if I do not get it? Can I make do without it? 
The answers to these questions will help you relax, help you cut out all the needless things that make you busy—too busy to be balanced or happy.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Links

I will be without internet for most of the next couple of weeks. I have a couple of posts and a few quotes scheduled, but there will likely be few—and possibly zero—compilations of links during that time.

Stephen Penman: Value vs. Growth Investing and the Value Trap (video) (LINK)
Related books: 1) Accounting for Value; 2) Financial Statement Analysis and Security Valuation
Nassim Taleb on Bloomberg (video) (LINK)

The Brooklyn Investor blog on high management fees (LINK)

Google CEO Sundar Pichai’s I/O 2017 keynote (video) (LINK)

Exponent podcast: Episode 115 — Business Matters (LINK)
Ben and James discuss Google I/O, the importance of business relative to technology, and why Uber is in trouble.
Congress, the Doctors Will See You Now - by Ed Yong (LINK)
Incensed by attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, several Democratic physicians are planning to run for office.
This week, I finished the audiobook of Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage. It was incredible, and now I'm looking forward to watching the documentary that was made about the voyage: Shackleton's Voyage Of Endurance (Nova - PBS Documentary)

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Links

The Advantage Of Being A Little Underemployed - by Morgan Housel (LINK)
Related previous post: Deep Work sessions, and tips
John Malone on trust (LINK)

Brazil stocks plunge 10% on emerging political scandal (LINK)

Union Square's Wilson on VC Market, Twitter, Snap & Uber (video) (LINK)

Boring Google - by Ben Thompson (LINK)

a16z Podcast: For Your Ears Only (LINK)
When it comes to spycraft — or rather, “tradecraft,” as they say in the biz — what do the movies get right, and what do they get wrong? In this episode of the a16z Podcast (recorded while on the road in D.C. for our annual Tech Policy Summit), Michael Morell — former Deputy Director and twice-Acting Director of the CIA — talks all things tradecraft and tech with a16z partners Matt Spence and Hanne Tidnam.
Poli'ahu: Time-lapse of telescopes and stars dancing under Hawaiian skies (LINK)

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As I've mentioned before on this blog:
When it comes to the macro, I like to take the approach of being a risk-identifier--as opposed to being a forecaster--and so listening to people who are intelligent and spend way more time on certain macro things than I do helps me get a sense for whether or not I might be missing something big while I spend most of my time thinking about individual companies.
And in the above light, I recently read Steve Keen's latest book, Can We Avoid Another Financial Crisis? It was great overview of the importance of private debt in the economy, where many countries currently stand in regards to private debt levels, and what risks that might entail. While many of the major debt risks have been well described elsewhere in regards to places like China and Hong Kong, he mentions several others and gives a great overview of Minsky's 'Financial Instability Hypothesis' on pages 14-21. Timing of when debt burdens becoming too unsustainable is hard or impossible to predict (which is a reason why, most of the time, value investors ignore the macro), but Keen does give some plausible reasons for why the Australian and Canadian economies in which many, including Keen, have been warning about for years seem likely to finally hit a big rough patch at some point within the next 3 years or so. Keen also has some good charts on country-by-country debt levels on his website, HERE

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Links

While in Omaha for the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting this year, I enjoyed meeting and chatting with Jon Boyar from Boyar Research, as well as reading an interview Jon and his father Mark did with Kate Welling last year. To help showcase their work as well as provide some value to readers of this blog, Jon and the team have agreed to provide a link to some of the reports that they believe are still timely, including the recent Conduent Inc. spinoff from Xerox. To access the reports, you'll just need to provide your name, company, and email address at the following link: Boyar Research Complimentary Report: CNDT, HBI, ABT

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What Henry Ford understood about wages - by Seth Godin (LINK)

Amazon is hiring people to break into the multibillion-dollar pharmacy market (LINK)

Household Debt Makes a Comeback in the U.S. (LINK)

The Amazing Dinosaur Found (Accidentally) by Miners in Canada [H/T Linc] (LINK)

My Family’s Slave - by Alex Tizon [H/T @edyong209] (LINK)


Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Links

A good 14-part Twitter thread from Bill Gates, with advice to college graduates (LINK)
Related book: The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined
Michael Mauboussin on the Invest Like the Best podcast (LINK)

From Jobs to Flying Cars: An Interview with Marc Andreessen (audio) (LINK)

Morgan Creek Capital Management's Q1 Letter (LINK)

Amazon’s 49,000% Gain: The Most ‘Super’ of ‘Superstocks’ Since 1926 - by Jason Zweig (LINK)

20 Years On, Amazon and Jeff Bezos Prove Naysayers Wrong - by Andrew Ross Sorkin (LINK)
Twenty years ago this week, Amazon.com went public. 
Skeptics of Jeff Bezos, the company’s founder, have spent the better part of the past two decades second-guessing and vilifying him: He has been described as “a monopolist,” “literary enemy No. 1,” “a notorious international tax dodger,” impossible, a ruthless boss and — more than once — “Lex Luthor.” His company used to routinely be described as Amazon.con. 
But you know what? 
Here we are, 20 years later, and Mr. Bezos has an authentic, legitimate claim on having changed the way we live.
The Innovator’s Dilemma Hits Higher Ed [H/T Matt] (LINK)
Last month’s announcement that Indiana’s Purdue University would acquire the for-profit Kaplan University shocked the world of higher education. The Purdue faculty are up in arms. The merger faces a series of regulatory obstacles. And it’s unclear whether the “New U,” as the entity is temporarily named, can be operationally viable or financially successful. 
But Purdue’s president, Mitch Daniels, is willing to give it a shot. 
The venture is unexpected, unconventional and smart. The nature of the partnership—in which Kaplan will transfer its assets to Purdue, a public university—is unprecedented. It’s also a rare instance of attempted self-disruption.
The Manual of Ideas' interview with Alex Rubalcava of Stage Venture Partners (LINK)

How to Invent the Future with Alan Kay (videos) (Part 1, Part 2)

Grant's Interest Rate Observer has put some free material online HERE, HERE, and HERE.

Everyone's Got a Bill Belichick Story [H/T @PeterAttiaMD] (LINK)

TED Talk - Lucy Kalanithi: What makes life worth living in the face of death (LINK)
Related book: When Breath Becomes Air
A Remote Paradise Island Is Now a Plastic Junkyard (LINK)