Monday, November 20, 2017

Links

"Most of the money I've made in my life has been when other people don't like what's going on. When things are cheap, that's the opportunity." - John Malone (Source)

An excerpt of Boyar Research's Forgotten Forty report from last year (in exchange for inputting contact information). This report provides their clients with their 40 best ideas for the year ahead, and this excerpt has a good overview of some of the names they follow.... Link to: The Forgotten Forty: 2017 Issue

Best in Class: Lessons from Publicly Traded Enterprise Saas Companies [H/T @AlexRubalcava] (LINK)

An interview with John Huber of Saber Capital Management and the Base Hit Investing blog (LINK)

Morgan Creek Capital Management - Q3 2017 Market Review & Outlook Letter (LINK)

How I Built This Podcast -- Ben & Jerry's: Ben Cohen And Jerry Greenfield (LINK)

EconTalk Podcast: Tim Harford on Fifty Inventions That Shaped the Modern Economy (LINK)
Related book: Fifty Inventions That Shaped the Modern Economy
The show so far, a continuing series [on the Trump Administration to date, according to Tyler Cowen] (LINK)

How a Skeptic Became a Stoic [H/T Daniel] (LINK)
Related book: How to Be a Stoic 

John Templeton, Warren Buffett, and Robert Wilson interviews by George Goodman (aka Adam Smith) (circa 1985)


Link to video

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Links

CNBC's full interview with Liberty Media's John Malone (video) [H/T Will] (LINK)

One of tech's most successful investors says Silicon Valley's unicorns need to 'grow up' (article and video) (LINK)

Blackstone May Do Its Cleverest CDS Trade Again [H/T Matt] (LINK)

Structures of power: author Michael Lewis on Donald Trump, Wall Street women and Harvey Weinstein [H/T Linc] (LINK)

Business Lessons from Ben Thompson of Stratechery - by Tren Griffin (LINK)

Exponent Podcast: Episode 132 — Successful Disappointments (LINK)

How Entrepreneurial Management Transforms Culture and Drives Growth (LSE podcast) (LINK)
Related book: The Startup Way - by Eric Ries
Kim Jong Un’s North Korea: Life inside the totalitarian state (LINK)

A Chess Novice Challenged Magnus Carlsen. He Had One Month to Train. ($) (LINK)

The da Vinci Pause (LINK)

What DNA Says About the Extinction of America’s Most Common Bird -  by Ed Yong (LINK)

New Zealand’s War on Rats Could Change the World - by Ed Yong (LINK)

Book of the day: The Way We Live Now - by Anthony Trollope [Tim O'Reilly mentioned this book near the end of his chat with Tim Ferriss, when discussing how reading bestselling novels during a given time period can be a great way to learn history, as it gives one a sense for the way people thought about things during that time. And he mentioned the The Way We Live Now as a book about the great railroad bubbles of the 1860s.]

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Links

"I have always thought that one man of tolerable abilities may work great changes, and accomplish great affairs among mankind if he first forms a good plan and, cutting off all amusements or other employments that would divert his attention, makes the execution of that same plan his sole study and business." - Ben Franklin

A Conversation with David Swensen [H/T @jasonzweigwsj] (LINK)
Related article: Yale's Swensen Sees Low Volatility as `Profoundly Troubling'
Lessons Learned from The Outsiders & How Intelligent Fanatics are Different (LINK)

Pension Actuaries: The Joke is On Us - by Rick Bookstaber (LINK)

Is the Business Cycle Dead, Or Just Hibernating? - by Frank Martin (LINK)

Why Sales Quotas Ruined Wells Fargo (LINK)

Will Amazon disrupt healthcare? (LINK)

Sebastian Junger: "Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging" | Talks at Google (LINK)

Long-lost da Vinci painting fetches $450.3 million, an auction record for art (LINK)

How the Zombie Fungus Takes Over Ants’ Bodies to Control Their Minds - by Ed Yong (LINK)

Life Without Guts - by Ed Yong (LINK)

Book of the day [H/T @jasonzweigwsj]: The Quotable Darwin

"I have steadily endeavoured to keep my mind free so to give up any hypothesis, however much beloved (and I cannot resist forming one on every subject), as soon as facts are shown to be opposed to it. Indeed, I have had no choice but to act in this manner, for with the exception of the Coral Reefs, I cannot remember a single first-formed hypothesis which had not after a time to be given up or greatly modified. This has naturally led me to distrust greatly deductive reasoning in the mixed sciences. On the other hand, I am not very sceptical,–a frame of mind which I believe to be injurious to the progress of science. A good deal of scepticism in a scientific man is advisable to avoid much loss of time, but I have met with not a few men, who, I feel sure, have often thus been deterred from experiment or observations, which would have proved directly or indirectly serviceable." - Charles Darwin

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Full Interview: Mark and Jeff Bezos

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and brother Mark give a rare interview about growing up and secrets to success


Link to video

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Related previous post: Jeff Bezos on multi-tasking

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Links

Asking the Right Questions (LINK)
The smaller the company and the more illiquid its currency, the more the investment process becomes an art and less of a science. Just like with any art form, whether it’s music, acting, painting, etc it just takes a lot of time and experience to do it well. The art of investing in small companies is evaluating management teams. If you don’t believe that management is important when investing in small companies like microcaps, just wait a little longer. You will.
The Generalized Specialist: How Shakespeare, Da Vinci, and Kepler Excelled (LINK)

The Rot That Lies Beneath Some Index Funds - by Jason Zweig (LINK)

Investors Playing ETF Rout Pushed Junk Bonds to Brink of Chaos [H/T Rick Bookstaber] (LINK)

Camouflage and dope in a Bull Market - by Sanjay Bakshi (LINK)

Kyle Bass predicts investors are getting ready to pour billions back into Greek economy (LINK)

Stitch Fix and the Senate - by Ben Thompson (LINK)

Robert Sapolsky Explains How Religious Beliefs Reduce Stress (article and video) (LINK)

Monday, November 13, 2017

Links

Changing the Culture at a Large Company (LINK)

Re-Reading Seth Klarman: Excerpts from 2 OID issues [H/T Linc] (LINK)

Isaac Newton Learned About Financial Gravity the Hard Way - by Jason Zweig (LINK)

Michael Lewis on Charlie Rose (video) (LINK)
Related article: "Inside Trump's Cruel Campaign Against the U.S.D.A.'s Scientists"
The 1990s Telecom Bubble. What Can We Learn? - by Tren Griffin (LINK)

Exponent Podcast: Episode 131 — Head-on is Hard (LINK)

Y Combinator Podcast: Tencent’s Chief eXploration Officer, David Wallerstein on WeChat, QQ, and Gaming (LINK)

Automotive News -- Bob Lutz: Kiss the good times goodbye (LINK)

Brian Grazer on The Tim Ferriss Show (podcast) (LINK)
Related book: A Curious Mind: The Secret to a Bigger Life
Oliver Sacks on the Three Essential Elements of Creativity (LINK)
Related book: The River of Consciousness 
The Hipster Ninja Bats That Sneak Up on Their Prey - by Ed Yong (LINK)

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Links

"An investor who has all the answers doesn't even understand all the questions. A know-it-all approach to investing will lead, probably sooner than later, to disappointment if not outright disaster. Even if you can identify an unchanging handful of investing principles, we cannot apply these rules to an unchanging universe of investments—or an unchanging economic and political environment. Everything is in a constant state of change and the wise investor recognizes that success is a process of continually seeing answers to new questions." -John Templeton

15 Questions to Ask Management Teams [H/T @iancassel] (LINK)

Are regional fulfillment centers the new U.S. job-creation engine? (LINK)

Bryan Cranston Gives Advice to the Young: Find Yourself by Traveling and Getting Lost (video) (LINK)

Carl Sagan on the Power of Books and Reading as the Path to Democracy (LINK)

"I conceive that pleasures are to be avoided if greater pains be the consequence, and pains to be coveted that will terminate in greater pleasures." -Michel de Montaigne

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Jeff Bezos on multi-tasking

I thought the comment below from the Jeff Bezos interview was important, especially given some of Charlie Munger's comments on multi-tasking over the last few years, so I wanted to highlight it separately in this post: 
On phone addiction and multi-tasking: Mark says his brother Jeff is surprisingly present, and rarely distracted by his phone. Jeff explains that “When I have dinner with friends or family, I like to be doing whatever I’m doing. I don’t like to multi-task. If I’m reading my email I want to be reading my email” with his full attention and energy. Jeff exhibited this resistance to multi-tasking early in life. At Montessori school, he’d refuse to move on to the next task as the day progressed, so the teacher would literally pick up him and his chair and move him to the next project. Instead of constantly switching back and forth, Jeff says he sequentially focuses. “I multi-task serially.” 

Links

Jeff Bezos’ guide to life [H/T @BrentBeshore] (LINK)

A Q&A with renowned investor Lou Simpson [H/T Market Folly] (LINK)

Buffett 1972 Letter to See’s Candies - by John Huber (LINK)

Never Do That Again - by Morgan Housel (LINK)

Steven Eisman presentation: Will Technology Prevent the Next Economic Bubble? (video) [H/T George] (LINK)

Will China Bring an Energy-Debt Crisis? (LINK)

Warren and Pamela Buffett give 'emotional' interview on cancer center for CBS (video plays) [H/T Linc] (LINK)

A Hedge Fund Pioneer Is Making Some of the Best Goat Cheese in America [H/T Jim] (LINK)

The Case of Wilbur Ross' Phantom $2 Billion (LINK)

Why AI Is the 'New Electricity' [H/T Linc] (LINK)

Tim O'Reilly on The Tim Ferriss Show (podcast) (LINK)
Related book: WTF?: What's the Future and Why It's Up to Us
Review of “The Square and The Tower” by Niall Ferguson (LINK)

Kids, Would You Please Start Fighting? - by Adam Grant (LINK)

Santa Fe Institute Community Lecture - Nick Lane - Energy and Matter at the Origin of Life (video) (LINK)
Related book: The Vital Question: Energy, Evolution, and the Origins of Complex Life
Washington, D.C., Is Home to America's Largest Collection of Parasites - by Ed Yong (LINK)

A Dying Boy Gets a New, Gene-Corrected Skin - by Ed Yong (LINK)

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Links

Inside Trump's Cruel Campaign Against the U.S.D.A.'s Scientists - by Michael Lewis (LINK)

NPR Fresh Air podcast -- Michael Lewis: Many Trump Appointees Are Uninterested In The Agencies They Head Up (LINK)

Stop Bashing the Halo Effect, It’s Actually Good For You - by Sean Iddings (LINK)

Invest Like the Best podcast: Chris Burniske - How to Value a Cryptoasset (LINK)

"60 Minutes" (video): The 12-year-old prodigy whose "first language" is Mozart (LINK)

Oliver Sacks: A Journey From Where to Where (podcast) [H/T @brainpicker] (LINK)
Related book: The River of Consciousness 

Monday, November 6, 2017

Neil deGrasse Tyson With Walter Isaacson: What Makes a Genius.


Link to video

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Related book: Leonardo da Vinci

Links

Power Laws: How Nonlinear Relationships Amplify Results (LINK)

Can Fund Manager Bill Miller Use Earthquakes to Predict the Market? - by Jason Zweig (LINK)

Ray Dalio on the Recode Decode podcast (LINK)
Related book: Principles: Life and Work
Apple at Its Best - by Ben Thompson (LINK)

Detroit: From Motor City to Housing Incubator [H/T @morganhousel] (LINK)

Dennis Rasmussen on EconTalk discussing his book The Infidel and the Professor: David Hume, Adam Smith, and the Friendship That Shaped Modern Thought (podcast) (LINK)

Dinosaur mass-extinction let mammals come out in the day (LINK)

The Elegant Mathematics of Vitruvian Man, Leonardo da Vinci’s Most Famous Drawing: An Animated Introduction (LINK)

If you're an Audible member, my favorite audiobook so far this year, Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage, is free for today only as part of Audible's 20th anniversary celebration.

Quote of the day (the book was first published in April 2007, so this was likely written sometime in the 2006-early 2007 timeframe):
“Likewise, dictatorships that do not appear volatile, like, say, Syria or Saudi Arabia, face a larger risk of chaos than, say, Italy, as the latter has been in a state of continual political turmoil since the second war. I learned about this problem from the finance industry, in which we see “conservative” bankers sitting on a pile of dynamite but fooling themselves because their operations seem dull and lacking in volatility.” –Nassim Taleb, The Black Swan

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Links

As earnings engineering escalates, are we at risk of a corporate credibility crisis? (LINK)
In his 1Q16 shareholder letter, Warren Buffett issued a stern warning about the proliferation of non-Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) metrics in corporate earnings reports: “It has become common for managers to tell their owners to ignore certain expense items that are all too real.” According to FactSet, more than 90% of S&P 500 companies now use non-GAAP numbers, up from 58% 20 years ago. Meanwhile, the difference between GAAP earnings per share (EPS) and non-GAAP EPS has skyrocketed — non-GAAP EPS exceeded GAAP EPS by an average of 25% in 2015, compared with just 6% in 2013. 
Used judiciously, non-GAAP numbers — from EBIT and EBITDA to free cash flow and operating income — can provide valuable insight into a company’s present health and future prospects. However, as the practice snowballs, systemic risks become increasingly apparent. More and more, non-GAAP numbers are being cherry-picked to obscure weaknesses and exaggerate strengths. This not only compromises the ability of investors to diagnose winners and losers, but threatens to distort the U.S. equity market as a whole.
Two Sides of the Same Coin - by Frank Martin (LINK)

Our Low Risk (Low Volatility) World - by Rick Bookstaber (LINK)

FT Alphachat podcast: A sit down with Adair Turner (LINK)

From earlier this year... Josh Waitzkin on The Progression Project podcast (LINK)
Related previous post: Josh Waitzkin with Adam Robinson (video)
Exponent Podcast: Episode 130 — The 50,000 Foot View (LINK)

a16z Podcast: Putting AI in Medicine, in Practice (LINK)

The Economist asks: Richard Dawkins (podcast) (LINK)

Today's Audible Daily Deal ($2.95): Astrophysics for People in a Hurry - by Neil deGrasse Tyson

Book of the day (author mentioned by Susan Cain in her excellent chat with Shane Parrish): Me, Myself, and Us: The Science of Personality and the Art of Well-Being - by Brian Little

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Links

"Examine the record of history, recollect what has happened within the circle of your own experience, consider with attention what has been the conduct of almost all the great unfortunate, either in private or public life, whom you may have either read of, or heard of, or remember; and you will find that the misfortunes of by far the greater part of them have arisen from their not knowing when they were well, when it was proper for them to sit still and be contented." - Adam Smith [H/T "Manias, Panics, and Crashes"]

As Credit Booms, Citi Says Synthetic CDOs May Reach $100 Billion [H/T Matt] (LINK)

Richard Bookstaber discussing his book The End of Theory (video) (LINK)

A Closer Look at Ray Dalio’s 1937 Scenario (LINK)

The Knowledge Project Podcast: Susan Cain: Leading the “Quiet Revolution” (LINK)
Related book: Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking
The First Rule of Leadership - by Ben Horowitz (LINK)

Walmart’s late-mover advantage (LINK)

Alex Rubalcava talks to Meb Faber (podcast): “If You’re Going to Be an Angel Investor… You Have to Be Devoting Significant Time to It” (LINK)

Atul Gawande talks with Krista Tippett (LINK)
Related book: Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End 
Related links: 1) Atul Gawande: "Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End" | Talks at Google; 2) Dr Atul Gawande: The Future of Medicine (The Reith Lectures 2014)
The Reith Lectures: Michael Sandel on Bertrand Russell (podcast) (LINK)

The Reith Lectures: Brian Cox on Robert Oppenheimer (podcast) (LINK)

The Randomness of Language Evolution - by Ed Yong (LINK)

Forest Animals Are Living on the Edge - by Ed Yong (LINK)

Scientists Identify a Third Orangutan Species - by Ed Yong (LINK)

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Links

Creating Oaktree Capital Management and Culture (LINK)

Thoughts on Cost of Capital and Buffett’s $1 Test – Part 1- by John Huber (LINK)

Tech Goes to Washington - by Ben Thompson (LINK)

Tyler Cowen and Matt Levine: Debating Where Tech Is Going to Take Finance (LINK)

Brad Katsuyama talks with Patrick O'Shaughnessy on the Invest Like the Best podcast (LINK)

The Absolute Return Letter, November 2017 (LINK)

Edge #503: The Human Strategy - A Conversation With Sandy Pentland (LINK)

Sam Harris speaks with Robert Wright about his book Why Buddhism is True: The Science and Philosophy of Meditation and Enlightenment (LINK)

How a Focus on Rich Educated People Skews Brain Studies - by Ed Yong (LINK)

Bacteria Can Evolve Resistance to Drugs Before Those Drugs Are Used - by Ed Yong (LINK)