Tuesday, December 6, 2016


My Favorite Books of 2016 - by Bill Gates (LINK)
The books: 1) String Theory - by David Foster Wallace; 2) Shoe Dog - by Phil Knight (also a great audiobook narration); 3) The Gene - by Siddhartha Mukherjee; 4) The Myth of the Strong Leader - by Archie Brown; 5) The Grid - by Gretchen Bakke
The Bad Side of a Good Idea - by Morgan Housel (LINK)
The number of publicly traded U.S. companies peaked in 1996 at 7,322. Today there are just over 3,700, according to Wilshire Associates. The U.S. population has risen nearly 50% since 1975, and real GDP has tripled. But the number of public companies has declined 21%. 
Understanding why this happening, how we got here, and what we can do about it is an important topic we wanted to tackle. So we put together a report.
Bill Gross' December 2016 Investment Outlook (LINK)

A chat between T. Boone Pickens and Joe Nocera (video) (LINK)

a16z Podcast: Health Data — A Feedback Loop for Humanity (LINK)

Edge #483: How Should a Society Be? - A Conversation With Brian Christian (LINK)
Related book: Algorithms to Live By: The Computer Science of Human Decisions
As Michael Lewis makes the rounds for his new book, Jeff Gramm linked to a couple of his older articles that may of interest: 1) Milken's Morals, and Ours - By Michael Lewis (1990); and 2) The Master of Money - By Michael Lewis (2009) [a review of The Snowball, Alice Schroeder's biography on Warren Buffett]

Also released today: Tools of Titans - by Tim Ferriss

Book of the day: My Voice Will Go with You: The Teaching Tales of Milton H. Erickson

Monday, December 5, 2016


From Michael Lewis, a Portrait of the Men Who Shaped ‘Moneyball’ (LINK)
Related book (released tomorrow): The Undoing Project
Video: Author Michael Lewis on "The Undoing Project" [H/T Linc] (LINK)

There’s a Big New Investor in Stock Markets: The State (LINK)
Two of the world’s most important stock markets have a big new investor—the state.
About 30% of all the companies in Japan’s three main equity indexes now count the country’s central bank as one of their top 10 shareholders, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of data as of the end of September. Six years ago, the Bank of Japan’s presence in the market was trivial.
In China, two major state-owned investment funds that are part of the so-called national team have become top 10 shareholders in 39% of listed companies over the past year, according to UBS, which analyzed shareholdings as of the end of September.
Huawei’s Hard-Charging Workplace Culture Drives Growth, Demands Sacrifice [H/T Matt] (LINK)

Stephen Hawking: This is the most dangerous time for our planet (LINK)
We can’t go on ignoring inequality, because we have the means to destroy our world but not to escape it
A few notes I took after reading Michael Mauboussin’s Base Rate book - by Stefan Cheplick (LINK)

Latticework of Mental Models: Illusion Of Control (LINK)

The myth of quick - by Seth Godin (LINK)

Five Things You Notice When You Quit the News (LINK)

Some nice thoughts about reading in a Tweetstorm from Patrick O’Shaughnessy (LINK)

For Kindle readers, I just noticed that some of the books that Charlie Munger has recommended have been made available in Kindle format over the last few years, such as: Models of My Life, Ice Age, and A Matter of Degrees.

Saturday, December 3, 2016


The Formula for Valuing All Assets (LINK)

25iq: A Dozen Things I’ve Learned About Negotiation - by Tren Griffin (LINK)

John Carreyrou and Michael Siconolfi of The Wall Street Journal discuss the investigation of Theranos (video) (LINK)

Dallas Stares Down a Texas-Size Threat of Bankruptcy [H/T @pcordway] (LINK)

Southeastern Asset Management's fall webcast transcript [H/T @chriswmayer] (LINK)

Mutual Fund Observer, December 2016 (LINK)

James Gleick on the Masters in Business podcast (LINK)
Related books: 1) Time Travel: A History; 2) The Information: A History, A Theory, A Flood; 3) Chaos: Making a New Science (I remember Robert Sapolsky saying this was one of the first-ever books he immediately started re-reading when he finished it. He also assigned it to his students, in what I believe may have been his Human Behavioral Biology course.); 4) Genius: The Life and Science of Richard Feynman; 5) Isaac Newton
Exponent podcast: Episode 097 — Google Versus AWS (LINK)

John Donahoe: Dump the Myth of the High Achiever (article and video) [H/T @anuhariharan] (LINK)

If you're looking for holiday gift ideas, Kevin Kelly's Cool Tools book is worth considering. He also has a Cool Tools blog and email newsletter.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Seth Klarman on liquidity

From Margin of Safety:
When investors do not demand compensation for bearing illiquidity, they almost always come to regret it. 
Most of the time liquidity is not of great importance in managing a long-term-oriented investment portfolio. Few investors require a completely liquid portfolio that could be turned rapidly into cash. However, unexpected liquidity needs do occur. Because the opportunity cost of illiquidity is high, no investment portfolio should be completely illiquid either. Most portfolios should maintain a balance, opting for greater illiquidity when the market compensates investors well for bearing it. 
A mitigating factor in the tradeoff between return and liquidity is duration. While you must always be well paid to sacrifice liquidity, the required compensation depends on how long you will be illiquid. Ten or twenty years of illiquidity is far riskier than one or two months; in effect, the short duration of an investment itself serves as a source of liquidity. 
...In times of general market stability the liquidity of a security or class of securities can appear high. In truth liquidity is closely correlated with investment fashion. During a market panic the liquidity that seemed miles wide in the course of an upswing may turn out only to have been inches deep. Some securities that traded in high volume when they were in favor may hardly trade at all when they go out of vogue.   
When your portfolio is completely in cash, there is no risk of loss. There is also, however, no possibility of earning a high return. The tension between earning a high return, on the one hand, and avoiding risk, on the other, can run high. The appropriate balance between illiquidity and liquidity, between seeking return and limiting risk, is never easy to determine. 

Thursday, December 1, 2016


Business Blunder: Pancake Flipper Al Lapin Jr. & International Industries (IHOP) (LINK)

IP Capital (Brazil) with a discussion on Amazon in its Q3 report (LINK)

The Absolute Return Letter, December 2016 (LINK)

Michael Hudson and Steve Keen discussing macro (Real Vision TV transcript) (LINK)

Macro Voices podcast -- Art Berman: OPEC Production Cut, Crude Oil Outlook (LINK)

An interesting podcast worth checking out: The Distance [H/T Aaron] (LINK)
The Distance is a podcast by Basecamp about longevity in business, featuring the stories of businesses that have endured for at least 25 years and the people who got them there.
Freakonomics Radio (podcast) -- Bad Medicine, Part 1: The Story of 98.6 (LINK)
We tend to think of medicine as a science, but for most of human history it has been scientific-ish at best. In the first episode of a three-part series, we look at the grotesque mistakes produced by centuries of trial-and-error, and ask whether the new era of evidence-based medicine is the solution.
Brain Pickings -- Genes and the Holy G: Siddhartha Mukherjee on the Dark Cultural History of IQ and Why We Can’t Measure Intelligence (LINK)
Related book: The Gene: An Intimate History
It’s Personal: Five Scientists on the Heroes Who Changed Their Lives (LINK)

World's Largest Cluster of Sinkholes Discovered (LINK)

Seneca on Cato: the best quotes (LINK)

Wednesday, November 30, 2016


How Google Is Challenging AWS - by Ben Thompson (LINK)

Get Thee to a Brokerage! Low Rates Turn Nuns Into Traders (LINK)

Jim Koch on scary vs. dangerous (LINK)
Related book: Quench Your Own Thirst 
Related links: 1) How I Built This podcast - Samuel Adams: Jim Koch; 2) Jim Koch: "Quench Your Own Thirst" | Talks at Google
The Knowledge Project podcast: Samuel Arbesman on Complex Adaptive Systems and the Difference between Biological and Physics Based Thinking (LINK)
Related book: Overcomplicated: Technology at the Limits of Comprehension
Meb Faber talks with Mark Yusko (podcast) (LINK)

a16z Podcast: Knowledge Builds Technology and Technology Builds Knowledge (LINK)
Related book: A Culture of Growth: The Origins of the Modern Economy
Your Most Important Thing Is Not Enough (LINK)

Tuesday, November 29, 2016


Welling on Wall St. interview with Mark and Jonathan Boyar [H/T @chriswmayer] (LINK)

Two Important Investment Principles - By John Huber (LINK)
Related previous post: Glenn Greenberg on zeroing in and not getting caught up in the minutiae
Big Names Take Hit on Theranos (LINK)
High-profile private investors gave startup much of its funding but could see their stakes wiped out
Bill Walton, Old Einhorn Enemy, Makes a Comeback With Trump Role [H/T @jasonzweigwsj] (LINK)
Related book: Fooling Some of the People All of the Time
Sebastian Mallaby on Charlie Rose discussing his latest book, The Man Who Knew: The Life and Times of Alan Greenspan (video) (LINK)

The Man Behind Shake Shack Explains Why You Love It So Much (podcast) [H/T @iddings_sean] (LINK)

How Otto Defied Nevada and Scored a $680 Million Payout from Uber (LINK)

Tools of Titans: Josh Waitzkin Distilled - by Tim Ferriss (podcast) (LINK)
Related book: Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers  
Related previous post (with other links): Josh Waitzkin on The Tim Ferriss Show
Video: How We Get Hooked, & How to Unlearn Our Patterns - By Leo Babauta (webinar) (LINK)

Seneca was a man, not a Sage - by Massimo Pigliucci (LINK)
Related free Kindle book (published in 1920): The Stoic: A biography of Seneca

Sunday, November 27, 2016


A Dozen Things Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger Learned From See’s Candies - by Tren Griffin (LINK)

Some of the Wisest Words Ever Spoken About Investing - by Jason Zweig (LINK)

Five Good Questions for Sundeep Bajikar about his book Equity Research for the Technology Investor: Value Investing in Technology Stocks (video) (LINK)

Robert Cialdini on the Innovation Ecosystem podcast (LINK)
Related book: Pre-Suasion
50 Things That Made the Modern Economy podcast: Concrete (LINK)

a16z Podcast: Drones for Delivery in Healthcare (LINK)

The Need to Read (LINK)

How Surgeons Stay Focused for Hours [H/T Abnormal Returns] (LINK)

Inside the Private Lives of Orangutans (LINK)

Friday, November 25, 2016


Mohnish Pabrai Lecture at Boston College (Carroll School of Mgmt) - Nov 3, 2016 (video) (LINK)

Latticework of Mental Models: Lucifer Effect (LINK)

James Simons’s Foundation Starts New Institute for Computing, Big Data [H/T Will] (LINK)

Joshua Foer: "Atlas Obscura: An Explorer's Guide to the World's Hidden Wonders" | Talks at Google (LINK)
Related book: Atlas Obscura: An Explorer's Guide to the World's Hidden Wonders
Jupiter Unwrapped (LINK)