Friday, December 14, 2018


Dr. Elon & Mr. Musk: Life Inside Tesla's Production Hell (LINK)

Jim Chanos On His Favorite Shorts: Full CNBC Transcript [H/T ValueWalk] (LINK)

16 Ways to Measure Network Effects (LINK)

The Dynamics of Network Effects (LINK)

How a World Order Ends: And What Comes in Its Wake [H/T @scmallaby] (LINK)

Nobel Prize Economics in 6 Minutes: Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Romer explains how ideas translate into growth. (video) (LINK)

The Existential Dread of Gmail's Auto-Complete Feature - by Derek Thompson (LINK)

Jonathan Tepper on The MoneyWeek Podcast discussing his book The Myth of Capitalism (LINK)

Exponent Podcast: Clumping and Clustering (LINK)

Pivot Podcast: Google doesn’t make iPhones, and other things Congress learned this week (LINK)

The Long Now Podcast -- Niall Ferguson: Networks and Power (LINK)

Thursday, December 13, 2018


Matt Rose: “Less is NOT better” - Railway Age [H/T @oddballstocks] (LINK)

Murray Stahl and Steven Bregman on “Active Voice” (Value Investor Insight) (LINK)

The ETF liquidity question: Can the passive universe hold up in the event of a market crisis? (LINK)

Fed Piles Up $66 Billion in Paper Losses as It Faces Trump Wrath (LINK)

Jamie Dimon's CNBC interview from last week (video) (LINK)

James Grant on CNBC (video) (LINK)

The bright side of Britain’s Brexit chaos - by Sebastian Mallaby (LINK)

Congress May Have Fallen for Facebook’s Trap, but You Don’t Have To (LINK)

The WIRED Guide to 5G (LINK)

Brian McCullough: "How the Internet Happened: from Netscape to the iPhone" | Talks at Google (LINK)

SpaceX's Gwynne Shotwell says we'll be on Mars this decade (podcast) (LINK)

Will half of all colleges really close in the next decade? (LINK)

The Viruses That Eavesdrop on Their Hosts - by Ed Yong (LINK)

Wednesday, December 12, 2018


"Probably every vice was once a virtue—i.e., a quality making for the survival of the individual, the family, or the group. Man’s sins may be the relics of his rise rather than the stigmata of his fall." --Will and Ariel Durant (The Lessons of History)

How a late night phone call from Warren Buffett in 2008 may have helped save the US economy [H/T Linc] (LINK)

The State of Technology at the End of 2018 - by Ben Thompson (LINK)

Rational vs. Reasonable - by Morgan Housel (LINK)

Verizon Takes $4.5 Billion Charge Related to Digital Media Business (LINK)

MiMedx Called on Two Lawmakers for Help Before Its Accounting Scandal (LINK)

Exponential Wisdom Podcast: The Future of Real Estate (LINK)

Ezra Klein and Kara Swisher on the future of journalism (LINK)

Bertrand Russell’s Advice For How (Not) to Grow Old: “Make Your Interests Gradually Wider and More Impersonal” (LINK)

The Recurring Dread of a Paralyzing Illness - by Ed Yong (LINK)

Tuesday, December 11, 2018


"Post-bubble periods, I think, depending on how big the bubble is and how many were participating in it....can produce fallout that not everyone will be terribly good at predicting." --Warren Buffett (2002 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting)

Surviving the Investing Game - by Vishal Khandelwal (LINK)

CNBC's full interview with Paul Tudor Jones (LINK)

Kyle Bass on Yahoo Finance (video) (LINK)

‘This Too Shall End’: Loews CEO Sees Oil Back at $75 in Two Years (video) (LINK)

Does It Matter Where You Go to College? - by Derek Thompson (LINK)

Invest Like the Best Podcast: Bryan Krug – High Yield Credit Investing (LINK)

Adam Robinson chats with Shane Parrish on the The Knowledge Project Podcast (Part 1) (LINK)

Sam Altman on the Recode Decode Podcast (LINK)

This Single Idea Will Make You More Resilient And Successful - by Ryan Holiday (LINK)

City Frogs Are the Sexiest Frogs - by Ed Yong (LINK)

Book of the day [H/T Will]: Wealth and Families: Lessons from My Life Journey - by Howard Stevenson 

Monday, December 10, 2018


I'm back after attending the Project Punch Card Conference last week. Congratulations to the organizers for putting together a great inaugural event in pursuit of a great cause. And for those that want to receive future updates about the project, you can join its email list HERE.

Boyar Research was one of the sponsors of the conference, and it's that time of year when they are getting ready to publish The Forgotten Forty, which features one-page reports on the forty companies that they believe have the greatest potential to outperform the leading indices in the year ahead due to a catalyst that they see on the horizon. The report has a successful track record and, once again, they're providing a link to receive three complimentary Forgotten Forty reports from last year’s report for readers of this blog.... Link to: Complimentary 3-report sample of The Forgotten Forty


David Abrams, who rarely makes public appearances, lays out his investing strategy — and cautions against being too patient (LINK)
"We make a lot of money from mucking around in the garbage, and we also buy nice shiny things, and we care what we pay for both," he said. 
The firm puts a three- to five-year time horizon on stocks, looking for a minimum return of 15% on its first purchase, he said. 
"There has to be a point sooner than 10 year where you're determining whether you are being successful or not successful," he said.
What You Can Learn From How Warren Buffett's Investment Process Evolved (LINK)

The Housing Boom Is Already Gigantic. How Long Can It Last? - by Robert J. Shiller (LINK)

How Subscriptions Are Remaking Corporate America (LINK)

James Dyson: ‘The Public Wants to Buy Strange Things’ [H/T Collaborative Fund] (LINK)

Elon Musk on 60 Minutes (video) (LINK)

Is there a signal in the noise? Yield Curves, Economic Growth and Stock Prices! - by Aswath Damodaran (LINK)

Lampert's Hedge Fund Makes Bid for Sears Stores and Assets (LINK)

Millennials Didn’t Kill the Economy. The Economy Killed Millennials. - by Derek Thompson (LINK)

Outgrowing Advertising: Multimodal Business Models as a Product Strategy (LINK)

What’s Next in Consumer Startups? (video) (LINK)

Why Small Habits Make a Big Difference (LINK)

Jeremy Grantham on the Masters in Business podcast (LINK)

Brent Beshore on the Capital Allocators Podcast (LINK)
Related book: The Messy Marketplace
How I Built This podcast: Airbnb's Joe Gebbia (LINK)

NPR Planet Money podcast: Why Car Safety Is A Trade Barrier (LINK)

Siddhartha Mukherjee talks with Peter Attia (podcast) (LINK)

Origin Stories: Carl Sagan (podcast) (LINK)
The Leakey Foundation's award-winning Origin Stories podcast has returned for its third season. The latest episode is a never-before-released lecture given by Carl Sagan in 1977. In this talk from The Leakey Foundation's archive, Sagan explores the origins and evolution of human intelligence.
Ebola detectives race to identify hidden sources of infection as outbreak spreads (LINK)

When a Killer Climate Catastrophe Struck the World's Oceans (LINK)

Book of the day: How the Internet Happened: From Netscape to the iPhone

Wednesday, December 5, 2018


"What makes common stock prices so hard to predict is that a general liquid market for common stocks creates, from time to time, either in sectors of the market or in the whole market, a Ponzi scheme. In other words, you have an automatic process where people get sucked in and other people come in because it worked last month or last year. And it can build to perfectly ridiculous levels, and the levels can last for considerable periods. Trying to predict that kind of thing, sort of a Ponzi scheme which is, if you will, accidentally thrown into the valuation of common stocks by just the forces of life, by definition that’s going to be very, very hard to predict. But that’s what makes it so dangerous to short stocks, even when they’re grossly overvalued. It’s hard to know just how overvalued they can become in addition to the overvaluation that exists. " --Charlie Munger (2002 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting)

John Huber's long thesis on Facebook (LINK)

Gabriel Grego's short thesis pitch on Aphria at the Kase Learning Shorting Conference (Video, Slides)

Chris Brown's short thesis pitch on Tilray at the Kase Learning Shorting Conference (Slides)

Morgan Creek Capital Management - Q3 2018 Market Review & Outlook Letter (LINK)

The Absolute Return Letter, December 2018: The Art of Defaulting (LINK)

Eddie Lampert Shattered Sears, Sullied His Reputation, and Lost Billions of Dollars. Or Did He? [H/T Linc] (LINK)

Drip, Drip, Drip - by Morgan Housel (LINK)

Hitting the Pause Button - by Frank K. Martin (LINK)

Do I Deserve What I Have? Part II - by Russ Roberts (LINK)

a16z Video: When Advertising Isn’t Enough (LINK)

oGoLead Leadership Podcast: Paul Varga, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Brown Forman (LINK)

It’s Time to Study Whether Eating Particular Diets Can Help Heal Us - by Siddhartha Mukherjee (LINK)

Subtract - by Derek Sivers (LINK)

"The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything." --Warren Buffett 

Tuesday, December 4, 2018


"The key to [Benjamin] Graham’s approach to investing is not thinking of stocks as stocks or part of a stock market. Stocks are part of a business. People in this room own a piece of a business. If the business does well, they’re going to do all right as long as they don’t pay way too much to join into that business....  It doesn’t make any difference to us whether the volatility of the stock market...averages a half a percent a day or a quarter percent a day or 5 percent a day. In fact, we’d make a lot more money if volatility was higher, because it would create more mistakes in the market. So volatility is a huge plus to the real investor.... As an investor, you love volatility. Not if you’re on margin, but if you’re an investor you aren’t on margin. And if you’re an investor, you love the idea of wild swings because it means more things are going to get mispriced." --Warren Buffett (1997 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting)

On Writing Better: Becoming a Writer - by Jason Zweig (LINK)

Aggregators and Jobs-to-be-Done - by Ben Thompson (LINK)

Business Insider IGNITION conference video (Day 1) (LINK) [Paul Graham and Drew Houston at 27:55; Dalio at 1:42:45; Scott Galloway at 3:30:25]

Decrypted Podcast: The Secrets Hidden in Our Google Location Data (LINK)

Invest Like the Best Podcast: Maureen Chiquet – Leadership Through Hard Conversations (LINK)

Do I Deserve What I Have? Part I - by Russ Roberts (LINK)

Situational spending - by Seth Godin (LINK)

The CRISPR Baby Scandal Gets Worse by the Day - by Ed Yong (LINK)

Monday, December 3, 2018


"For what the investor chiefly wants to learn from an annual report is the indicated earning power under the given set of conditions, i.e., what the company might be expected to earn year after year if the business conditions prevailing during the period were to continue unchanged." --Benjamin Graham and David Dodd (Security Analysis: Sixth Edition)

5 books I loved in 2018 - by Bill Gates (LINK)
The books: 1) Educated: A Memoir - by Tara Westover; 2) Army of None - by Paul Scharre; 3) Bad Blood - by John Carreyrou; 4) 21 Lessons for the 21st Century - by Yuval Noah Harari; 5) The Headspace Guide to Meditation and Mindfulness - by Andy Puddicombe
Managing Risk and Uncertainty: The Future of Insurance (video) (LINK)

Investors Rev Up the Risk in Subprime Auto Deals (LINK)

What’s Really Happening to Retail? - by Derek Thompson (LINK)

Investing Whiplash: Looking for Closure with Apple and Amazon! - by Aswath Damodaran (LINK)

Jonathan Tepper discusses his book, The Myth of Capitalism, on The Jolly Swagmen Podcast (LINK)

Planet Money Podcast: The Secret Target (LINK)
Their plan was dangerous, risky, and extremely unpopular. But America copied them anyway. Today on the show: how a tiny country on the other side of the world changed how America runs its economy.
Exponent Podcast: Rent-Seeking (LINK)
Ben and James talk about Apple’s case in front of the Supreme Court, and debate whether the company is acting anti-competitively with its App Store policies.
Pivot Podcast: Microsoft is more valuable than Apple again. Why? (LINK)

George H.W. Bush and the Price of Politics - by Jon Meacham (LINK)

Friday, November 30, 2018


"All investment is, is laying out some money now to get more money back in the future. Now, there’s two ways of looking at the getting the money back. One is from what the asset itself will produce. That’s investment. One is from what somebody else will pay you for it later on, irrespective of what the asset produces, and I call that speculation. So, if you are looking to the asset itself, you don’t care about the quote because the asset is going to produce the money for you." --Warren Buffett

Hard Choices: The importance of thoughtful deliberation—and its implications for the future of capitalism - by Seth Klarman [H/T Linc and Will] (LINK)

Bogle Sounds a Warning on Index Funds [H/T Will] (LINK)

Brookfield Pulls Multibillion-Dollar U.K. Deal as Brexit Uncertainty Bites [H/T @rationalwalk] (LINK)

China is underestimating its US$3 trillion dollar debt and this could trigger a financial crisis, says economist [H/T @jasonzweigwsj] (LINK)

The Miseducation of Sheryl Sandberg  (LINK)

David Rosenberg chats with Meb Faber (podcast) (LINK)

a16z Video: When Software Eats the Real (Estate) World (LINK)

Freakonomics Radio (podcast): Should America Be Run by … Trader Joe’s? (LINK)

Good news in the fight to stop one of the world’s oldest diseases - By Bill Gates (LINK)

George Church takes a more nuanced view than many scientists on the recently revealed gene editing of human babies (LINK)

The Insect Apocalypse Is Here: What does it mean for the rest of life on Earth? (LINK)

There’s a Spider That Makes Milk - by Ed Yong (LINK)

2.4-Million-Year-Old Stone Tools Turn Up in an Unexpected Place - by Ed Yong (LINK)

Book of the day (released this week): The Model Thinker: What You Need to Know to Make Data Work for You - by Scott E. Page

"Rationality resides in what you do, not in what you think or in what you "believe" (skin in the game).... Rationality is about survival." --Nassim Taleb, "Skin in the Game" [Related previous post: Filters, Beliefs, Survival and Crotchets]

Wednesday, November 28, 2018


Brent Beshore's book, The Messy Marketplace: Selling Your Business in a World of Imperfect Buyers, will be released next week. Brent knows that space as well as anyone and, knowing him, I'm sure the book will be filled with plenty of wisdom even for those not selling their businesses. Amazon is also running a promotion for the rest of November where you can get $5 off by using the promo code NOVBOOK18.


Selfish Writing - by Morgan Housel (LINK)

Antitrust, the App Store, and Apple - by Ben Thompson (LINK)

Amazon Starts Selling Software to Mine Patient Health Records ($) (LINK)

Amazon May Be Hiding Its Plans to Test New Wireless Tech by Masquerading as a Massage Spa [H/T @pkedrosky] (LINK)

New at Amazon: Its Own Chips for Cloud Computing (LINK)

Inside an Amazon warehouse on Black Friday (LINK)

What’s Next for Marketplace Startups? (LINK)

4 Signs of Short-Term Thinking and Strategies to Overcome Them - by Robert Greene (LINK)

Paul Volcker’s Wisdom for America’s Rigged Economy (LINK)
Related book: Keeping At It
Invest Like the Best Podcast: Hunter Walk – Building Picks and Shovels (LINK)

Chris Voss talks to Cal Fussman (podcast) (LINK)
Related book: Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It
Exponential Wisdom Podcast: Accelerating Innovation (LINK)

The Northern Miner Podcast: The year of the lab-created diamond (LINK)

Jonathan Haidt at the LSE discussing his book The Coddling of the American Mind (podcast) (LINK)

The Tim Ferriss Show: LeBron James and His Top-Secret Trainer, Mike Mancias (LINK)

The Tony Robbins Podcast: Do you want to be happy? | Tony, Sage and Michael Singer on breaking patterns and finding inner peace (LINK)
Related book: The Untethered Soul
Beginnings - by Phil Plait (LINK)

“Executive Presence” for Introverts - by Susan Cain (LINK)

Monday, November 26, 2018


"What the human being is best at doing is interpreting all new information so that their prior conclusions remain intact.... That is a talent everyone seems to have mastered. And how do we guard ourselves against it? Well, we don’t achieve it perfectly. I mean, Charlie and I have made big mistakes because, in effect, we have been unwilling to look afresh at something.... That happens. [But] I think that reporting on yourself, and giving the report honestly, whether you do it through an annual report or do it through some other mechanism, is very useful....[And] I would say a partner, who is not subservient, and who himself is extremely probably the best mechanism you can have." --Warren Buffett

Why Warren Buffett is big on big banks (LINK)

What to look for while reading the annual report? (LINK)


On Writing Better: Sharpening Your Tools - by Jason Zweig (Part 2 of 3) (LINK)

Battling Entropy: Making Order of the Chaos in Our Lives (LINK)

U.S. Pension Funds Turn to Riskier Real-Estate Bets ($) (LINK)

Overdoses, bedsores, broken bones: What happened when a private-equity firm sought to care for society’s most vulnerable (LINK)

James Grant reviews Paul Volcker's book, Keeping At It: The Quest for Sound Money and Good Government (LINK)

An Interview with Tyler Cowen and Paul Krugman (video) (LINK)

Where Jonathan Haidt thinks the American mind went wrong (podcast) (LINK)
Related book: The Coddling of the American Mind
Birds Rub Ants on Themselves, and No One Knows Exactly Why (LINK)

Chinese scientists are creating CRISPR babies (LINK)

A Reckless and Needless Use of Gene-Editing on Human Embryos - by Ed Yong (LINK)

Wednesday, November 21, 2018


"Progress often comes from people who often came from life-circumstances that seemed impossible.... People who because of adversity, not in spite of it, have an inextinguishable flame that gets lit. This propulsive force—resilience—that against the seemingly impossible makes great achievement inevitable. And it makes the bad stuff of great adversity often lead to the good stuff of great ambition and achievement." --Josh Wolfe

Josh Wolfe's 2018 Lux Annual Dinner Talk (audio/video....and really fantastic) (LINK)

An Evolve-or-Die Moment for the World's Great Investors [H/T Linc] (LINK)
The dominance of tech stocks has forced some of the best investing minds—including Warren Buffett himself—to reexamine their thinking. Who will adapt and survive?
Why “Many-Model Thinkers” Make Better Decisions [H/T @mjmauboussin] (LINK)

Late Cycle Behavior (LINK)

The Predatory Lending Machine Crushing Small Businesses Across America [H/T @pkedrosky] (LINK)

Energy Losses Prompt Emotional Video to Options Firm’s Clients ($) (LINK)

Inside Elon Musk’s Forgotten Gigafactory 2 in Buffalo (LINK)

The Sun's long-lost sibling found in our own backyard - by Phil Plait (LINK)

The History of the Oceans Is Locked in Whale Earwax - by Ed Yong (LINK)

Monday, November 19, 2018


"Usually if [companies] can gain competitive advantage very quickly, you have to worry about them losing it quickly, too.... When an industry is in flux, there are a lot of people that think they’re the survivors, or the ones that are going to prosper, where it turns out otherwise." --Warren Buffett (2002)

On Writing Better: Getting Started - by Jason Zweig (Part 1) (LINK)

Which American industries are most in danger of monopoly? (LINK)

Annie Duke – Thinking More in Bets (Capital Allocators Podcast) (LINK)

5 Principles for Making Better Life Decisions - by Mark Manson (LINK)

If you want to understand Silicon Valley, watch Silicon Valley - by Bill Gates (LINK)

For 4,000 Years, Termites Have Been Building Something Incredible in Brazil - by Ed Yong (LINK)

Psychology's Replication Crisis Is Running Out of Excuses - by Ed Yong (LINK)


For Audible members, Audible's latest sale has some titles of note. Some of the ones that stood out to me are below...

The Intelligent Investor

Buffett: The Making of an American Capitalist

Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela

Bruce Lee: A Life

Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging

The House of Morgan: An American Banking Dynasty and the Rise of Modern Finance

The Silk Roads: A New History of the World

The Goal

The Innovator's Dilemma

The Startup Way

Influence: Science and Practice

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth about Moving Others

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

Red Notice


An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth

Science in the Soul: Selected Writings of a Passionate Rationalist

Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers

The Gene: An Intimate History

The Hero with a Thousand Faces

Saturday, November 17, 2018


From Gene Editing to A.I., How Will Technology Transform Humanity? (LINK)
Five big thinkers — Regina Barzilay, George Church, Jennifer Egan, Catherine Mohr and Siddhartha Mukherjee — puzzle over the future of the future.
The end of the beginning (video) (LINK)
In his now annual state-of-innovation talk at the a16z Summit in November 2018, Andreessen Horowitz’ Benedict Evans walks through where we are now in software eating the world… and how things may continue to change over the next 10 years.
Thoughts and notes from Liberty Investor Day 2018 (LINK)

Facebook and the Age of Manipulation - by Evan Osnos (LINK)

Pivot Podcast with Kara Swisher and Scott Galloway: Facebook’s dirty tricks (LINK)

The Complicated Legacy of Stewart Brand’s “Whole Earth Catalog” (LINK)

A massive change: Nations redefine the kilogram [H/T Linc] (LINK)

Friday, November 16, 2018

Rosetta Stones

Discovered in 1799, "the Rosetta Stone proved to be the key to deciphering Egyptian hieroglyphs, thereby opening a window into ancient Egyptian history."

A simple thing, a stone inscribed with three texts, led to a complete revelation in being able to understand the great civilization that was ancient Egypt. 

I bring this up because of a comment Warren Buffett made in 2002 that I've been thinking a lot about lately: 
I read Ben [Graham]’s book in 1949 when I was at University of Nebraska, and that actually just changed my whole view of investing. And it really did, basically, told me to think about a stock as a part of a business. 
Now, that seems so obvious. You can say, you know, that why should you regard that as the Rosetta Stone? But it is a Rosetta Stone, in a sense. 
Once you crank into your mental apparatus that you’re not looking at things that wiggle up and down on charts, or that people send you little missives on, you know, saying buy this because it’s going up next week, or it’s going to split, or the dividend’s going to get increased, or whatever, but instead you’re buying a business. 
You’ve now set a foundation for going on and thinking rationally about investing.
In another description of this investing Rosetta Stone, Allan Mecham, portfolio manager and partner at Arlington Value Capital, put in this way in a 2016 interview with The Manual of Ideas that I think sums it up well:
I approach investing like I’m buying the business outright and retaining management. This mindset ties valuation to understanding and forces me to think through qualitative factors and potential threats to long-term earnings power. It also effectively winnows the field of potential investments, as I’m incapable of gaining confidence in most businesses. 
For those investors that invest like the above, viewing stocks as businesses not only serves as a Rosetta Stone for thinking rationally about the relationship between price and value, but it also serves as a guide to one's preparation and to the type of professional network one may want to build, among other things.

In an answer to the same question in 2002, Charlie Munger gave a more generalized answer, which also serves as a Rosetta Stone for going through both investing and life: 
If you have a passionate interest in knowing why things are happening, you always are trying to figure out the world in terms of why is this happening or why is this not happening, that cast of mind, kept over long periods, gradually improves your ability to cope with reality. 
And if you don’t have that cast of mind, I think you’re destined, probably, for failure, even if you’ve got a pretty high IQ. 
And the more I think about it, there are probably all kinds of Rosetta Stones in life—simple things that, if discovered, can completely change one's understanding of something, and potentially change the work being done and the path on which it is being done.

For me, the wisdom of the Stoics to only focus on the things under one's control is a Rosetta Stone, as is Buffett's emphasis on having an inner scorecard:
You always want to consider your inner scorecard – how you feel about your own performance and success. You should worry more about how well you perform rather than how well the rest of the world perceives your performance. 
What are your Rosetta Stones as it relates to investing, business, life, relationships, etc.? For those that also think this through and would like to share, feel free to pass along your thoughts. 

Thursday, November 15, 2018


"You may delay, but Time will not." --Ben Franklin

Berkshire invests in JPMorgan, Oracle as Buffett puts cash to work (LINK)

The GE End Game: Bataan Death March or Turnaround Play? - by Aswath Damodaran (LINK)

CNBC's full interview with Ray Dalio (~16 minutes) (LINK)

Short-seller Bass says China needs 'reset' as Trump talks tariffs (LINK)

Is there a financial time bomb in sight? - by Sebastian Mallaby (LINK)

Delay, Deny and Deflect: How Facebook’s Leaders Fought Through Crisis (LINK)

Who does Facebook fire after a bombshell New York Times investigation? (LINK)

Michael Lewis, whose books often highlight the growing role of data, sees the opportunity in trucking [H/T Linc] (LINK)

4 Strategies For Becoming a Master Persuader - by Robert Greene (LINK)

Deep freeze impact: Scientists find a huge asteroid impact crater under Greenland’s ice (LINK)

A Bold New Strategy for Stopping the Rise of Superbugs - by Ed Yong (LINK)

"A Change of Fortune hurts a wise Man no more than a Change of the Moon." --Ben Franklin

Wednesday, November 14, 2018


CNBC's full interview with John Malone (~55 minutes) (LINK)

Real Vision has made the full interview with Stanley F. Druckenmiller, which was filmed in early September, freely available for all (LINK)

How This All Happened - by Morgan Housel (LINK)
The story of how America evolved from 1945 to 2018.
How Warren Buffett Is Expanding His Overseas Real Estate Empire [H/T Linc] (LINK)

Why I love fertilizer - by Bill Gates (LINK)

How to Weigh Your Options and Decide Wisely: Benjamin Franklin’s Pioneering Pros and Cons Framework (LINK)

How Amazon Picked HQ2 and Jilted 236 Cities ($) (LINK)

A Reckoning With the Dark Side of the Restaurant Industry ($) [H/T @trengriffin] (LINK)
On the other hand, young cooks’ heightened expectations don’t always take into account low wages or difficult labor, restaurateurs say. Dreams of fame and fortune have driven growth in culinary schools and programs and encouraged thousands of students to finance this education with debt. 
Last year, 672 culinary programs were accredited by the ACF, compared with roughly 100 in 1998, Ms. Brust says. More than 39,000 students matriculated from two-year or four-year culinary degree programs accredited by the ACF last year. Yet the Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts the creation of only 14,100 new chef and head-cook jobs by 2026. There will be 10 times as many “cook” jobs, but these pay half as much. 
Restaurant cooks make a median wage of $12.10 an hour, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Culinary-school graduates are no exception, even at top-tier restaurants in expensive cities, a number of restaurateurs say. While some top chefs can earn six figures, the median annual wage for chefs and head cooks is $45,950, according to the BLS.
Focused Compounding Podcast: Talking MicroCap Investing with MicroCapClub's Ian Cassel (LINK)

Capital Allocators Podcast: Michael Lombardi – Leadership Through Football (LINK)
Related book: Gridiron Genius
Seth Godin talks about his new book on his podcast (LINK)

Jocko Podcast 151: How to Really Implement Change. Different Leadership Styles. Balancing Discipline. Different Jiu Jitsu Styles. (LINK)

The Myth Of the Traumatized Neanderthal - by Ed Yong (LINK)

Tuesday, November 13, 2018


"Human history is a fragment of biology. Man is one of countless millions of species and, like all the rest, is subject to the struggle for existence and the competition of the fittest to survive. All psychology, philosophy, statesmanship, and utopias must make their peace with these biological laws. Man can be traced to about a million years before Christ. Agriculture can be traced no farther back than to 25,000 B.C. Man has lived forty times longer as a hunter than as a tiller of the soil in a settled life. In those 975,000 years his basic nature was formed and remains to challenge civilization every day." --Will Durant, "Heroes of History"

How mobile phones are helping farmers grow bigger harvests - by Bill Gates (LINK)

How Google and Amazon Got So Big Without Being Regulated (LINK)
Related book: The Curse of Bigness
Record Biotech IPO May Be Worth the $7 Billion - by Charley Grant ($) (LINK)
Moderna is slated to offer the largest biotech IPO on record, and a $7 billion valuation isn’t as crazy as it sounds
Mohnish Pabrai's keynote speech at the 8th Morningstar Investment Conference in Mumbai, India (video) (LINK)

Invest Like the Best Podcast: Cliff Asness – The Past, The Present & Future of Quant  (LINK)

Grant’s Current Yield Podcast: Curated content (LINK)

6 Biases Holding You Back From Rational Thinking - by Robert Greene (LINK)
Related book: The Laws of Human Nature
TED Talk: My journey to thank all the people responsible for my morning coffee | AJ Jacobs (LINK)

Released today: This Is Marketing - by Seth Godin (who also reads the audiobook)

Monday, November 12, 2018


How an Intelligence Expert Helps Wall Street Mavens Think Smarter (LINK)

Defensive Decision Making: What IS Best v. What LOOKS Best (LINK)

Balance Is Underrated - by Sean Iddings (LINK)

How One Family Built $8 Billion Startup Far From Silicon Valley (LINK)

The Experience Economy - by Ben Thompson (LINK)

Inside John Malone’s World ($ Barron's) (LINK)

Productivity Growth II: Can the U.S. Economy Stay Airborne Without It? - by Frank Martin (LINK)

Marathon's Richards Has a Recession Warning for Overleveraged Companies (video) [H/T @valueshadow] (LINK)

Has the “Everything Bubble” begun to deflate everything? (LINK)

Be Afraid of Economic ‘Bigness.’ Be Very Afraid. - by Tim Wu (LINK)
Related book (just released): The Curse of Bigness: Antitrust in the New Gilded Age
Ray Dalio on the Masters in Business podcast (LINK)

Ray Dalio reflects on today’s great powers and how they will handle their deep-seated differences (LINK)

Inside Bill Browder’s War Against Putin (LINK)

The next great war - by Graham Allison (LINK)

Saturday, November 10, 2018


"In economics, it’s far easier to tell what will happen than when it will happen. I mean, you can see bubbles develop and things, but you do not know how big the bubble will get." --Warren Buffett (2005)

A Fifth of China's Homes Are Empty. That's 50 Million Apartments (LINK)

Google in China: When ‘Don’t Be Evil’ Met the Great Firewall (LINK)

Kate Welling discusses Merger Masters on the According to Sources podcast (LINK)

Reflections on the Bank of England’s History (LINK)
Related book: Till Time's Last Sand: A History of the Bank of England 1694-2013
Tony Robbins & Peter H. Diamandis: Vitality, Longevity, Education & Human Purpose during our Exponential Age (LINK)

The Longevity Opportunity (LINK)

How to Engineer Biology (LINK)

Tim Berners-Lee launches campaign to save the web from abuse [H/T @jasonzweigwsj] (LINK)

Tech C.E.O.s Are in Love With Their Principal Doomsayer (LINK)
The futurist philosopher Yuval Noah Harari thinks Silicon Valley is an engine of dystopian ruin. So why do the digital elite adore him so?
Book of the day: Blitzscaling: The Lightning-Fast Path to Building Massively Valuable Companies

Friday, November 9, 2018


"I think you can only plan in broad terms where you want to go and what are the major pieces which you want to put in place. And then you have to leave a lot of space for the economy to develop, for people to pursue their passions, and for technology to unfold. But you do have to do things with a long-term perspective." --Lee Hsien Loong 

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong Speaks at New Economy Forum (video) [H/T Cathy] (LINK)

The Tim Ferriss Show: Doug McMillon — CEO of Walmart (podcast) (LINK)

Disruptive Innovation: The Role of Hospitals, Integration, and the Value-Added Process (LINK)

Sam Altman on Choosing Projects, Creating Value, and Finding Purpose (video and podcast) (LINK)

The Extremely Fast Peopling of the Americas - by Ed Yong (LINK)

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Nassim Nicholas Taleb: "Skin in the Game" | Talks at Google

Link to video


Related book: Skin in the Game: Hidden Asymmetries in Daily Life


I Can’t See Berkshire’s Bottom Line - by Donald E. Graham ($) (LINK)
A new accounting rule makes it difficult for investors to make sense of annual reports.
Buffett’s Underrated Investment Attribute - by John Huber (LINK)

Making Sense Of Multiples: Mauboussin On EV/EBITDA (LINK)

Once an Optimist on U.S.-China Relations, Henry Paulson Delivers a Sobering Message ($) (LINK)
The former Treasury secretary warns that Chinese behavior and U.S. miscalculation could bring down an ‘economic Iron Curtain’ between the two global superpowers
On Physician Burnout and the Plight of the Modern Knowledge Worker - by Cal Newport (LINK)

Eric Schmidt chats with Tyler Cowen (podcast) (LINK)

Hard Words: Why aren't kids being taught to read? (LINK)
Scientific research has shown how children learn to read and how they should be taught. But many educators don't know the science and, in some cases, actively resist it. As a result, millions of kids are being set up to fail.
Book of the day (was released this week): Merger Masters: Tales of Arbitrage - by Kate Welling and Mario Gabelli

Tuesday, November 6, 2018


" If you stop to think about it, the ordinary result when a big publicly-held corporation buys another corporation is that, maybe two-thirds of the time, it’s a terrible deal for the buying corporation and yet the people have taken an enormous time doing it. And we’ve bought all these businesses taking practically no time in doing it, and on average they’ve worked out wonderfully. Why is that? That’s a good question. The answer is we wait for the no-brainers. We’re not trying to do the difficult things....  And we have the patience to wait. And then we’re so peculiar that there actually are a good number of businesses in America where they prefer selling to us than to other people. That’s very helpful." --Charlie Munger (2002 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting)

All it Takes is One - by Ian Cassel (LINK)

State of the Cloud Report 2018 - Bessemer Venture Partners [H/T @ChrisPavese] (LINK)

Grant’s Current Yield Podcast: Read the fine print (LINK)
Related book: Financial Fine Print
The Problem Behind a Viral Video of a Persistent Baby Bear - by Ed Yong (LINK)

Monday, November 5, 2018


"Controlling risk is the mark of a professional. Anybody can make money when the market goes up. And most of the time the market goes up. And anybody who takes above-average risk can do above average when the market rises. So achieving returns is not a point of distinction in good times. In my opinion, the distinction of a superior investor is achieving returns in good times with the risk under control, because you never know when the environment is going to shift from favorable to unfavorable. And the question is: are you prepared?" --Howard Marks

Why Doctors Hate Their Computers - by Atul Gawande (LINK)

Cycles with Howard Marks, Julio Herrera, Jordon Kruse and Robert O'Leary (video) (LINK)

Greenhaven Road Capital Q3 2018 Letter [with an overview of new holding Box, Inc.] (LINK)

Apple’s Social Network - by Ben Thompson (LINK)

Sometimes, It’s Bonds For the Long Run - by Jason Zweig ($) (LINK)

How Tesla Made a Record Profit - by Charley Grant ($) (LINK)

Avenue’s Marc Lasry Sees Reckoning for Investment-Grade Company Bonds [H/T @ShaiDardashti] (LINK)

Book review: “The Myth of Capitalism” by Jonathan Tepper (LINK)

What’s Staying the Same (LINK)

5 Tactics Used By Passive-Aggressive Arguers (And The Best Forms of Defense) - by Robert Greene (LINK)

The Most Misread Poem in America [H/T @kevin2kelly] (LINK)

Why the Long Face, Extinct Dolphin? - by Ed Yong (LINK)

Bill Gates talks toilets (video) (LINK)

Sunday, November 4, 2018


A reminder to readers, especially those in and around New York City, the super-early-bird pricing for the Project Punch Card Conference ends on November 7th. 


"Once you crank into your mental apparatus that you’re not looking at things that wiggle up and down on charts, or that people send you little missives on, you know, saying buy this because it’s going up next week, or it’s going to split, or the dividend’s going to get increased, or whatever, but instead you’re buying a business. You’ve now set a foundation for going on and thinking rationally about investing. And there’s no reason why you need a high IQ to do that. There’s no reason why you have to be born in some way. I do think there’s certain matters of temperament that may be innate, they may be learned, they may be intensified by experience as you go on, partially innate, but then reinforced in various ways by your experience as you go through life, but that’s enormously important. I mean, you have to be realistic. You have to just define your circle of competence accurately. You have to know what you don’t know and not get enticed by it.... You’ve got to have an interest in money, I think, or you won’t be good in investing. But I think if you’re very greedy, it’ll be a disaster, because that will overcome rationality." --Warren Buffett

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Repurchases More Than $900 Million of Stock ($) (LINK)

Berkshire’s Repurchase Policy: Too Little, Too Late? (LINK)

Howard Marks chats with James Altucher (podcast) (LINK)
Related book: Mastering the Market Cycle
The Tim Ferriss Show: Seth Godin on How to Say “No,” Market Like a Professional, and Win at Life (LINK)
Related book: This Is Marketing: You Can't Be Seen Until You Learn to See  
Related 2010 article (mentioned in the podcast): The world’s worst boss
Elon Musk: The Recode interview (podcast and transcript) (LINK)

Robert Cialdini on the Masters in Business podcast (LINK)

Leithner Letter No. 229-232 (LINK)

Unpacking Industry 4.0 (LINK)

Could Military Veterans Change More Than Control of Congress? - by Evan Osnos (LINK)

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Howard Marks: "Mastering the Market Cycle"

In this Talks at GS episode, Oaktree Capital co-founder Howard Marks shares his insights on the forces shaping the market cycle and discusses how his writing has informed his perspective as an investor.

Link to video


Related book: Mastering the Market Cycle

Wednesday, October 31, 2018


Warren Buffett on Protecting Physicians and Building on Success: “We’re Here to Last” (video) [H/T Will] (LINK)

Why Gotham's Greenblatt Likes 'Gushing' Cash-Flow Stocks (video) [H/T Linc] (LINK)

Taleb Says World Is More Fragile Today Than in 2007 (video) (LINK)

No One is Crazy - by Morgan Housel (LINK)

That Big Mac and Coke Now Comes With a Side Order of Inflation ($) (LINK)

After 10 Years, Bitcoin Has Changed Everything—and Nothing (LINK)

Jonathan Tepper on the Grant's Current Yield Podcast discussing his book The Myth of Capitalism (LINK)

Exponential Wisdom Podcast: Transforming Entertainment (LINK)
Peter and Dan discuss entertainment business models and why there is massive opportunity in the area of how money is made.
Dan Pink chats with Cal Fussman (podcast) (LINK)
Related book: When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing
Robert Greene chats with Lewis Howes about his book The Laws of Human Nature (podcast) (LINK)

TED Talk: Is war between China and the US inevitable? | Graham Allison (LINK)
Related book: Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides’s Trap?
TED Talk: What everyday citizens can do to claim power on the internet | Fadi Chehadé and Bryn Freedman (LINK)

TED Talk: How tech companies deceive you into giving up your data and privacy | Finn Myrstad (LINK)

Animals Are Riding an Escalator to Extinction - by Ed Yong (LINK)
Ain’t no mountain high enough to escape climate change.
Wait, Have We Really Wiped Out 60 Percent of Animals? - by Ed Yong (LINK)
The findings of a major new report have been widely mischaracterized—although the actual news is still grim.
How to Not Become a Zombie, Using Martial Arts - by Ed Yong (LINK)
Reader beware: These techniques may work only if you're a cockroach.

Monday, October 29, 2018


"If you really think you’re in with people that have got a good business, but they’re going to keep doing dumb things with your money, you’ll probably do better to get out and get in with people who’ve got a good business and you think they’re going to do sensible things with it.... As a matter of investment technique, and maybe as a matter of...avoiding stress in your life...I would say that it’s better to be in with a management you’re simpatico with, than simply to be in a great business with a management that’s bent on doing things that don’t make much sense to you." --Warren Buffett

Warren Buffett’s Firm Invests Millions in Fintech ($) (LINK)

What Investors Can Learn From Gamblers - by Jason Zweig ($) (LINK)

Notes From Capitalize For Kids Conference 2018 (LINK)

An October Surprise? Making Sense of the Market Mayhem! - by Aswath Damodaran (LINK)

IBM’s Old Playbook - by Ben Thompson (LINK)

Creating Surplus - by Fred Wilson (LINK)

Expedia CEO Insists That Online Travel Agencies Aren’t Over (LINK) [There are also a bunch of videos from the Skift Global Forum on YouTube for those interested.]

Execution is Everything - by Tren Griffin (LINK)
Related book: Measure What Matters
Deep Throat blog: The Most Disturbing Statement... (LINK)

The Surprising Power of The Long Game (LINK)

Martin Short’s Nine Categories for Self Evaluation - by Ben Carlson (LINK)

Everything You Wear Is Athleisure - by Derek Thompson (LINK)
Yoga pants, tennis shoes, and the 100-year history of how sports changed the way Americans dress
Grant’s Current Yield Podcast: Tomorrow’s sales today (LINK)

Alex Honnold talks to Joe Rogan (podcast) (LINK)

TED Talk: How will we survive when the population hits 10 billion? | Charles C. Mann (LINK)

Sunday, October 28, 2018


"Ben Franklin said, 'If you want to be miserable, you know, during Easter or something like that,' he says, 'borrow a lot of money to be repaid at Lent,' or something to that effect. And similarly, being short something, which keeps going up because somebody is promoting it in a half-crooked way, and you keep losing, and they call on you for more margin — it just isn’t worth it to have that much irritation in your life. It isn’t that hard to make money somewhere else with less irritation." --Charlie Munger

Bethany McLean talks with Hank Paulson and Chris Dodd about the financial crisis (video...starting at the 9:54 mark) (LINK)

Mohnish Pabrai's Interview with CNBC – TV18 on Investing Opportunities in India (video) (LINK)

The Pitfalls of Early Success – A Personal History (LINK)

Chip Conley: "Wisdom@Work: The Making of a Modern Elder" | Talks at Google (LINK)

The Ezra Klein Show: Doris Kearns Goodwin (live!) on how great presidents are made (podcast) (LINK)
Related book: Leadership: In Turbulent Times
Famed short seller tells Dallas investors where they shouldn't put their money (LINK)

Jeffrey Gundlach interview with Citywire (Part 1, Part 2)
Jeffrey Gundlach: I don't read a lot of commentary. I think I learned the most from Richard Russell, who was a newsletter writer from 1958 and he did it continuously until a few years ago when he passed away in his late 80s. He had a lot of experience and a lot of ideas and methods and I learned a lot by reading those letters. I don't subscribe anymore. I think his children have taken over. But I really liked Richard Russell.  
And I read Jim Grant’s Interest Rate Observer. Every now and then there's an issue with a real gem of an idea. Sometimes there isn't, but very few publications ever have a true gem. He has them in there. 
I read the newswires more than anything else. What I'm looking for is these magical moments when the data doesn't change but the interpretation of it does. That's very interesting, because it tells you that something has shifted in terms of mood, or attitude, or emotion or sentiment. The opposite happens too, which is equally interesting. That is that the data does change but people don’t realize it and the narrative stays the same. And that happens a lot too. So I always look for things that used to be true that are no longer true, but people don't realize it yet. 
My biggest lesson that I've learned... I have the same flaw that every human being has and that is: As you're growing up and getting older, you believe that everybody's like you. You just extrapolate your personality traits and proclivities on other people. Then you start to realize increasingly, that that's not true. And I believed, therefore, that everybody was intellectually objective and honest and wanted to figure things out for themselves. And I didn't understand, for probably as long as 20 years, why I couldn't convince people of almost mathematically analytical arguments regarding markets. And it was finally after years of this that I realized that people actually want to be told what to think. 
It took me a long time to understand that. Not me, see, I don't want to be told what to think. And so I figured nobody wants to be told what to think. But indeed, I think almost everybody wants to be told what to think. That creates a tremendous advantage in managing money. Because in that window of time between a fact and people being told what the fact means, you have a window if you're capable of figuring out what it means - and don't need to be told what it means – where you can actually act before other people and I found I've made a lot of money that way. 
I remember when Ben Bernanke announced the Fed funds rate was going to stay at 0% for three years, and the markets didn't move. And I had my traders look for this asset class in the bond market that would be the primary beneficiary of rate staying at zero for three years. And I said, “How much of the prices up?” And they said, “They're not up at all.”

Friday, October 26, 2018

Project Punch Card Conference

I'm an advisor to Project Punch Card, which is a great non-profit organized by a few of my value investor friends, including Vishal Mishra who first discussed the project with me while we were in Omaha for the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting this year. The launch event for the endeavor will be the Project Punch Card Conference. 

The conference will be all about the long term. You will hear from thought leaders in the value investing community about what it means to be long-term oriented. And it has an incredible line-up of speakers and thought leaders including David Abrams (in a rare public appearance), John Rogers, Jonathan Levin, Murray Stahl and more. We are offering a limited number of super-early-bird tickets for $145, after which the price increases to $495 for early-bird tickets and then $995 for full-priced tickets. The super-early-bird pricing will end on November 7th. To register, click on the link below.