Investing is kind of a game of connecting the dots. The nice thing about it is the longer you are in the business, as long as you are intellectually curious, your collection of data points of dots gets bigger and bigger. That is where someone like Warren is just incredible. He has had a passion for investing for well over 70 years. He started by the age of 10 or 12. He keeps building that library of data, the ability to recognize patterns in data. Being a successful investor you need to be hungry, intellectually curious, interested, read all the time. Read a lot of newspapers. You need a certain level of randomness in order to connect things that might give you an insight into where a business is going in five years that somebody else might not see.
When it comes to wholly owned businesses among other factors it is about pricing power. You have something that is so attractive to the consumer that they pay a premium to walk into your store and do something. There is a number of attributes like that. But you can never just point to one thing. It is a mosaic of all sort of different things. If then you read the book of a business you can pretty quickly find out if that is a good business or not.
I am a big fan of newspapers. I read at least one or two in paper form, the other ones on my iPad. We own a lot of newspaper at Berkshire Hathaway. I am always intrigued by who is doing what in the online business. Because everybody is coming up with presenting things in a better format. I read at least five newspapers a day.
...I have a tradition. I always start each day with reading the local paper of the town I wake up in. Then next one would be USA Today. That gets you a general feeling for the Zeitgeist. They package the news for the entire population. From an investing standpoint it is relevant to understand what everybody is thinking. Then I generally move up to the New York Times, then the Wall Street Journal and then I end with the Financial Times. And actually I recently just started reading the Handelsblatt global edition.
Economic implications of Brexit - by Ben Bernanke (LINK)
Paul Krugman with Gillian Tett at the 92nd Street Y [This was from a couple of months ago, so pre-Brexit, but Brexit gets discussed after China.] (video) (LINK) [China discussion around the 25:40 mark... "China looks ready to have a possibly scary bust. China is having a capital flight now...Last year it was a trillion dollars...China is a bomb ready to go off."]
Andy Andres: "Sabermetrics 101: Introduction to Baseball Analytics" | Talks at Google (video) (LINK)
Brain Pickings: Schopenhauer on What Makes a Genius and the Crucial Difference Between Talent and Genius (LINK)
Related books: The World as Will and Representation, Vol. 1, The World as Will and Representation, Vol. 2 [I also highly recommend Schopenhauer's The Wisdom of Life.]100 Million Years of Decorating Yourself In Junk (LINK)
Book of the day: Do Humankind's Best Days Lie Ahead?: The Munk Debates
In the seventeenth semi-annual Munk Debates, which was held in Toronto on November 6, 2015, pioneering cognitive scientist Steven Pinker and bestselling author Matt Ridley squared off against noted philosopher Alain de Botton and bestselling author Malcolm Gladwell to debate whether humankind’s best days lie ahead.