Thursday, March 29, 2018


"It isn't the learning that's so hard, but the unlearning." -Charlie Munger

Honoring Toys “R” Us Founder Charles Lazarus - by Ian Cassel (LINK)

The Boyar Value Group has started a podcast, The World According to Boyar, and Chris Mayer is the first guest (LINK)

Why Kim Jong Un Went to China - by Evan Osnos (LINK)

Pmarca Guide to Personal Productivity [H/T @chriswmayer] (LINK)

On Analog Social Media - by Cal Newport (LINK)

What is this galaxy doing without a dark matter halo? - by Phil Plait (LINK)

Freeman Dyson’s life of scientific delight (LINK)
Related book: Maker of Patterns: An Autobiography Through Letters


Another 1996 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting excerpt via OID:
Munger: We have such a fingers and toes-style around here. Warren often talks about these discounted cash flows, but I've never seen him do one.  
Buffett: Some things you only do in private, Charlie.  
Munger: Yeah. If it isn't perfectly obvious that it's going to work out well if you do the calculation, then he tends to go on to the next idea.
Buffett: That's true. It's sort of automatic. If you have to actually do it with pencil and paper, it's too close to think about. It ought to just kind of scream at you that you've got this huge margin of safety.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018


"We generally look at businesses and believe that change is likely to work against us. We do not think we have great ability to predict where change is going to lead. We think we have some ability to find businesses where we don't think change is going to be very important." -Warren Buffett (1996 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting, via Outstanding Investor Digest)

Meet the billionaire whisperer who united Bezos, Buffett and Dimon (LINK)

Mohnish Pabrai Lecture at Peking University (Guanghua School of Mgmt) - Dec 22, 2017 (video) (LINK)

The Rise and Fall of Circuit City (LINK)

Special Commentary from FPA: Rare Bond Market Conditions Set Up Complacent Investors for Subpar Returns (LINK)

How Astronauts Build Trust (WorkLife with Adam Grant Podcast) (LINK)

Divided by DNA: The uneasy relationship between archaeology and ancient genomics (LINK)

Tuesday, March 27, 2018


"If you buy a stock and it goes down and that upsets you, it obviously means you think the market knows more about the company than you do. In that case you're the patsy. If you want to buy more because you know the business is worth just as much as when you bought it, perhaps a little more, so you buy more, it's the patsy." -Warren Buffett [H/T OID]

Ray Dalio: "Principles: Life and Work" | Talks at Google (LINK)
Related book: Principles: Life and Work
Stratechery 4.0 - by Ben Thompson (LINK)

What I’ve Learned from Jordan Peterson - by Russ Roberts (LINK)

Invest Like the Best Podcast: Live Ep.1, With Peter Attia, M.D. (LINK)
This week’s episode was the first one that I’ve recorded live. It was the second dinner in what I expect to be a long series where I bring together 30 people from a variety of backgrounds to discuss an interesting and emerging topic, whether that be cryptocurrencies, health, cannabis investing, or some other compelling, emergent thing.
Bill Gates reviews Turtles All the Way Down by John Green (LINK)

Monday, March 26, 2018


“Unfortunately in this kind of work, where you are trying to determine relationships based upon past behavior, the almost invariable experience is that by the time you have had a long enough period to give you sufficient confidence in your form of measurement, just then new conditions supersede and the measurement is no longer dependable for the future.” -Benjamin Graham ("Securities in an Insecure World")

Berkshire-Backed USG Rejects $5.9 Billion Takeover by Knauf [H/T Linc] (LINK)

Martin Capital Management 2017 Annual Report [H/T Linc] (LINK)

Intelligent Fanatics Leverage Antifragility (LINK)

Inside the Strange Odyssey of Hedge-Fund King Eddie Lampert (LINK)

Seth Godin Keynote: Customer Service in the Age of AI (video) [H/T Tamas] (LINK)

Matt Ridley writing about Britain's energy options (LINK)

Hidden Forces Podcast: Can We Learn to Invest in the Future? | Meditations on Passion, Randomness, and Optionality with Josh Wolfe (LINK)

The Skift podcast: The Airbnb Threat (LINK)
This episode of the Skift podcast goes all in on Airbnb and the competitive threat it poses to traditional hotel companies and booking sites.
Dan Pink chats with Tim Ferriss (podcast) (LINK)
Related book: When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing
‘That’s $425,000 right there’ — the anxious launch of a gene therapy with a record sticker price [H/T @DrSidMukherjee] (LINK)

How to Search on Google: 31 Google Advanced Search Tips [H/T @ChrisPavese] (LINK)

Patrick O'Shaughnessy on Twitter with a must-read thread (in the category of "life is short") (LINK)

Saturday, March 24, 2018


Warren Buffett plans to make public a video archive of about 20 years of past Berkshire Hathaway Inc. shareholder meetings ($) [H/T Vishal] (LINK)

Giverny Capital 2017 Annual Letter to Partners (LINK)

Business Lessons from Robert Smith of Vista Equity Partners - by Tren Griffin (LINK)

Debt, Loans, & Credit Quality: The Devil is in the Details - by Frank K. Martin (LINK)

a16z Video: When (and How) Biology Becomes Engineering (LINK)

Orion's filaments of star birth - by Phil Plait (LINK)

Friday, March 23, 2018


"A really wonderful business is very well protected against the vicissitudes of the economy and competition over time. And I'm talking about businesses that are resistant to effective competition. Three of those will be better than 100 average businesses.  And they'll be safer. There's less risk in owning three, easy-to-identify, wonderful businesses than in owning 50 well known and big businesses. Bad things won't happen to those three. That's one of the characteristics of a wonderful business.  If my own family's fortunes for the next 30 years were dependent on the income from a group of businesses, I can assure you that I'd rather pick three businesses from those we own than own a diversified group of 50." -Warren Buffett [via OID]

AB InBev CEO on Global Growth and SABMiller Acquisition (video) (LINK)

13D Research: The corporate bond market sends a clear message (LINK)

Wayne Huizenga, Empire-Builder in Videos and Trash, Dies at 80 (LINK)
Related book: The Making of a Blockbuster
Shkreli vs. Holmes: 2 Frauds, 2 Divergent Outcomes. Were They Fair? (LINK)

At Columbia, Revisiting the Revolutionary Students of 1968 [H/T @RogerLowenstein] (LINK)

Steven Pinker’s 10 Favorite Books (LINK)

Exponent Podcast: Episode 146 — Facebook’s Real Mistake (LINK)

Bill Irvine talks about his book A Slap in the Face: Why Insults Hurt--And Why They Shouldn't (podcast) (LINK)

What Makes Whales Strand Themselves Together? - by Ed Yong (LINK)

Thursday, March 22, 2018


"The great personal fortunes in this country weren't built on a portfolio of 50 companies. They were built by someone who identified one wonderful business." -Warren Buffett

Prem Watsa's 2017 letter to shareholders (released a couple of weeks ago) [H/T ValueWalk] (LINK)

What Protects Us From Exploitation? - by Russ Roberts (LINK)

Brian Grazer: "A Career in Curiosity" | Talks at Google (LINK)
Related book: A Curious Mind: The Secret to a Bigger Life
The Blind Fish That Should Have Diabetes, But Somehow Doesn't - by Ed Yong (LINK)


Another 1996 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting excerpt via OID:
Wall Street reports haven't helped. But annual reports.... 
Buffett: It's amazing how well you can do in investing really with what I'd call "outside" information. I'm not sure how useful inside information is. But there's all kinds of "outside" information around as to businesses. And you don't have to understand all of them. You just have to understand the ones you're thinking about investing in. And you can. But no one can do it for you. 
In my view, you can't read Wall Street reports and get anything out of them. You've got to get your arms around it yourself. I don't think we've ever gotten an idea from a Wall Street report. However, we've gotten a lot of ideas from annual reports. Charlie? 
Where it all begins and ends.... 
Munger: It takes a long time to read an annual report - even if the business is a comparatively simple one. If you're really trying to understand it, it's not a bit easy. 
Buffett: Yeah. On average, in a business we're really interested in - where we know what to skip to some extent and what to read - we'll spend 45 minutes or an hour on a single annual report. If there are six or eight companies in the industry, that's going to be six to eight hours. And then there are quarterlies and a lot of other [material].... 
The way you learn about businesses is by absorbing information about 'em, deciding what counts and what doesn't and relating one thing to another. That's the job. 
You can't get that by looking at a bunch of little numbers on a chart bobbing up and down or by reading market commentary, periodicals or anything of the sort. That won't do it. You have to understand the businesses. That's where it all begins and ends. 

Josh Waitzkin on finding your own way...

"[There's] this theme of finding your own way. One of the most common mistakes that I see people make—whether you're talking about kids or adults—in the learning curve is trying to do it like someone else does it; whether it's your dad, or your hero, or Michael Jordan, or Tiger Woods, or whatever the sport is. There are people who are at the top, and you can try to do it like somebody else, but that's very different from trying to figure out the relationship to the art which is completely your own." -Josh Waitzkin (Source)

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger on float and insurance in 1996

Transcribed comments via Outstanding Investor Digest from the 1996 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting: 
Our cheap, plentiful float springs from competitive advantage.

Buffett: You achieve that in this business only by having some kind of competitive advantages. You won't do it just by having an ordinary insurance company - because an ordinary insurance company is not a good business.

We have it in certain respects because of our attitude toward the business. Our financial strength gives us certain advantages. And we have it in the case of GEICO because of a very low cost operation. And it's up to us to try and figure out ways to maximize each one of those competitive advantages over time.  
We've built those advantages. In 1967, we weren't looked at that way in the insurance business. We've built a position of competitive strengths. And GEICO had it without us. But we bought into it over time. 
Would I accept $7 billion for our float? The answer is no.... 
Buffett: So it's a very important asset. And you ought to pay a lot of attention over the years to what's happening with that asset - both as to growth and cost. And that will aid you in calculating intrinsic value.... 
But I will tell you this: We have $7 billion of float presently.... And if I were offered $7 billion for that float and did not have to pay tax on the gain, but would thereafter have to stay out of the insurance business forever - a perpetual non-compete in any kind of insurance - would I accept that?   
The answer is no. 
That's not because I'd rather have $7 billion of float than have $7 billion of free money. 
It's because I expect the $7 billion to grow. 
It would have been a mistake - and one I'd have made. 
Buffett: If I'd been offered that trade 27 years ago of $17 million for the float we had at that time with no tax to be paid - float for which we'd just paid $8.7 million - in return for us to have gotten out of the insurance business, I might have said yes.... 
Munger: You would've.

Buffett: Yeah.

Munger: But he keeps learning. That's one of his strengths.

Buffett: That's probably true in this case. I'm not sure in other cases. But it would've been a terrible mistake. It would have been a mistake to do it 10 or 12 years ago with $300 million of float. And today, a tax-free payment of $7 billion would not compensate us adequately for giving up the opportunity of being in the insurance business forever at Berkshire - even though it'd be a $7 billion pure addition to equity. So we wouldn't take it. In fact, we wouldn't even think about it very long. 
So, as Charlie says, that isn't the answer we'd have given some years back. But it's a very valuable business. 
It's not automatic. But if they're run right and nurtured....

Buffett: It has to be run right - as does GEICO, the reinsurance business, National Indemnity and the homestate companies.... And it's not automatic. 
But they have the people, the distribution, the reputation, the capital strength and other competitive advantages in place. And, if nurtured, I think they become more valuable as time goes by. 

[H/T Linc]

[And if anyone happens to, by any chance, have a copy of the August 27, 1992 Outstanding Investor Digest issue that they could pass along, I'd be much appreciative. Thanks.]


"The odds are very good that there'll be opportunities from time to time. You cannot study financial history and observe the way markets and people behave and not believe that. Will we do something in the next five years? I can't say. In ten years, yes, we will." -Warren Buffett, 1988 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting [via OID] [H/T Linc]

Why Edward Thorp Owns Only Berkshire Hathaway ($) (LINK)
Q: What’s in your portfolio now? 
A: One good stroke of good fortune was meeting Warren Buffett in 1968. It led me to realize that I needed to invest in Berkshire Hathaway (ticker: BRK.A), although I didn’t do it until 1982. It’s my single investment in the stock market. It’s like a broad value-stocks equity index. I hold it in lieu of VTSAX [the Vanguard Total Stock Market fund]. It does about as well with no current taxes to pay. VTSAX has dividends that are taxed annually. I also have some hedge funds, but I consider them not as good as Berkshire, so I use them to spend and finance other things I do. 
Q: Why not go out and find better investments, as you did in the past? 
A: When I was 35, I had lots of time and less money, so doing 10% or so better than the index, with little risk, was attractive and fun. At 85, the marginal value of time is higher and the marginal value of money is lower. These are strong disincentives when I can make a long-run 10% or so by doing nothing.
Warren Buffett’s vision for NetJets is now the company mantra, new Europe CEO says [H/T @pcordway] (LINK)

Whitney Tilson reflects on the end of his hedge fund (LINK)

The Cambridge Analytica Scandal, in 3 Quick Paragraphs (LINK)

WorkLife with Adam Grant Podcast: Is Your Personality More Flexible Than You Think? (LINK)

Peter G. Peterson, a Power From Wall St. to Washington, Dies at 91 (LINK)

Bertrand Russell’s Advice to People Living 1,000 Years in the Future: “Love is Wise, Hatred is Foolish” (LINK)

There are a couple of great deals on Kindle books today ($2.99):

Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It

WTF?: What's the Future and Why It's Up to Us

Tuesday, March 20, 2018


"Our outlook for inflation is always the same. We feel there's a big bias toward inflation - both in the U.S. and around the world. But our objective is not to profit from it as much as it is to avoid disaster. Our outlook leads to our buying businesses with the same characteristics that are good in low inflation - namely pricing flexibility, high returns on capital, profits received in cash and so forth." - Warren Buffett, 1988 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting [via OID] [Related link: Warren Buffett’s Comments on Inflation]

Investing is Hard - by Ian Cassel (LINK)

On Social Media and Its Discontents - by Cal Newport (LINK)

Ryan Holiday speaks with James Altucher about his latest book, Peter Thiel, Hulk Hogan, Gawker, and the Anatomy of Intrigue (podcast) (LINK)

What’s Next for Humanity: Automation, New Morality and a ‘Global Useless Class’ (LINK)

The Death of the Last Male Northern White Rhino Won’t Change the Species' Fate - by Ed Yong (LINK)

Monday, March 19, 2018


What I read during 2017 and a few book recommendations - by Tamás Vincze (LINK)

Understanding Speed and Velocity: Saying “NO” to the Non-Essential (LINK)

To Control Your Life, Control What You Pay Attention To (LINK)

Good news is gradual, bad news sudden - by Matt Ridley (LINK)

Buffett and Munger on Discount Rates and How They Read Annual Reports [H/T @HurriCap] (LINK)

How the Bear Stearns Meltdown Wrecked Something More Valuable than Money - by Jason Zweig ($) (LINK)

The Facebook Brand - by Ben Thompson (LINK)

Stream On: An IPO Valuation of Spotify! - by Aswath Damodaran (LINK) [Though maybe he's a little too optimistic on content costs continuing to drop.]

Business Lessons from Jack Ma - Alibaba and the 40 SaaS - by Tren Griffin (LINK)

Leithner Letter No. 222-225 (a sample chapter from The Bourgeois Manifesto) (LINK)

Wing's IoT Startup State Of The Union [H/T @AlexRubalcava] (LINK)

Patrick Collison (CEO of Stripe) Reddit AMA [H/T @sarthakgh] (LINK)

Scott Galloway on breaking up tech's big Four (podcast) (LINK)
Related book: The Four
How I Built This Podcast -- LARABAR: Lara Merriken (LINK)

a16z Podcast: How to Live Longer and Better (LINK)

Book of the day: Tectonic Shifts in Financial Markets: People, Policies, and Institutions - by Henry Kaufman

Friday, March 16, 2018


"When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it." -Henry Ford [H/T @vitaliyk]

Amazon Strategy Teardown [H/T Market Folly] (LINK)

Why America needs to invest in its future: Lessons from the U.S. steel industry’s demise (LINK)

Jeremy Grantham on the [i3] Podcast [H/T Abnormal Returns] (LINK)

Adventures in Finance Podcast -- Commercial Break: What the Ad industry’s struggles say about the economy (LINK)

Exponent Podcast: Episode 145 — Qualcomm, Patents, and Innovation (LINK)

The Predictable March of Corpse-Eating Microbes - by Ed Yong (LINK)

Book of the day [H/T @vitaliyk]: The Virgin Banker: My Life in Finance - by Jayne-Anne Gadhia

Thursday, March 15, 2018


U.S. Airline Industry: A Rorschach Test for Investors (LINK)

Ironies of Luck - by Morgan Housel (LINK)

The Man Behind the DC Rainmaker Gear-Review Empire [H/T @pkedrosky] (LINK)

Contract Interpretation 2.0: Not Winner-Take-All But Best-Tool-For-The-Job - by Lawrence Cunningham (LINK)
To illuminate its importance and value — call it contract interpretation 2.0 — this Essay turns to Warren Buffett’s contracting philosophy and practices. The famous investor and businessman is also a polyglot teacher, and his approach to contracts, especially acquisition agreements and employment arrangements, illustrates the imperative of using the right tool for the job.
Audit transparency disclosures give investors new tools [H/T @jciesielski] (LINK)

What a psychiatrist learned from 87,000 brain scans (video) (LINK)

Daniel Amen: "The Brain's Warrior Way" | Talks at Google (LINK)

An Older Origin for Complex Human Cultures - by Ed Yong (LINK)

A Twist in Our Sexual Encounters With Other Ancient Humans - by Ed Yong (LINK)

Why Earth's History Appears So Miraculous - by Peter Brannen (LINK)

No, space did not permanently alter 7 percent of Scott Kelly’s DNA (LINK)
Scientists studying Scott found that much of his gene expression changed while in space, and about 93 percent of his expression levels went back to normal when he got home. However, 7 percent of his genes related to the immune system, DNA repair, bone formation, and more were still a little out of whack when he returned. These genes are referred to as the “space genes,” according to NASA. 
That’s still a cool result, but it doesn’t mean his genetic code is significantly different. “To have 7 percent of his gene expression changed after the spaceflight does not mean that 7 percent of the DNA changed, or that those changes were necessarily due to mutations,” Nichole Holm, a geneticist at UC Davis who did not work on the Twins Study, wrote to The Verge in an email.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018


"One, remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Two, never give up work. Work gives you meaning and purpose and life is empty without it. Three, if you are lucky enough to find love, remember it is there and don't throw it away." -Stephen Hawking

The Power of Detachment (LINK)
Piramal Enterprises has the rare distinction of generating annualized shareholder return of 30% over 29 years till 2017. And the architect behind this stunning performance is Ajay Piramal.
Theranos and Silicon Valley's 'Fake It Till You Make It' Culture (LINK)

Billionaire Raises His Bet on Containerships (LINK)

Not a Single Japanese 10-Year Bond Traded Tuesday (LINK)

WorkLife with Adam Grant (podcast): The Team of Humble Narcissists (LINK)

Jordan Peterson on taking responsibility for your life (video) (LINK)
Related book: 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos
What a Giant Soda Stream Reveals About the Fate of Corals - by Ed Yong (LINK)

Stephen Hawking (1942–2018) (LINK)

The Universe and Beyond, with Stephen Hawking [aired 10 days ago] (video) (LINK)
This year’s season finale of StarTalk on National Geographic TV was Neil deGrasse Tyson's interview with Stephen Hawking. In memory of his passing, and in celebration of his life, we offer that episode for you here, now, commercial free.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018


Elon Musk's interview at SXSW 2018 (video) (LINK)

Qualcomm, National Security, and Patents - by Ben Thompson (LINK)

Bill Gates chats with Jorge Aguilar, the superintendent of the Sacramento City United School District (LINK)

The Knowledge Project Podcast -- Company Culture, Collaboration and Competition: A Discussion With Margaret Heffernan (LINK)

Invest Like the Best Podcast: World After Capital, with Albert Wenger (LINK)

How Psychopaths See the World - by Ed Yong (LINK)

Monday, March 12, 2018


"I'm curious. I want to know how things work. And even more importantly, I want to know what's going to happen. And what's going to happen is often related to what has happened." -Seth Klarman

BPIAA 2017 Distinguished Alumni Honoree Video: Seth & Michael Klarman [H/T ValueWalk] (LINK)

3 Tips from Warren Buffett on Becoming a Better Person (LINK)

Half Life: The Decay of Knowledge and What to Do About It (LINK)

Latticework of Mental Models: Benford’s Law (LINK)

Making it Look Easy is Hard Work - by Ben Carlson (LINK)

The Best and Worst Performing Stocks Since the March 2009 Start of this Historic Bull Market [H/T Abnormal Returns] (LINK)

Audience vs. Traffic - by Scott Galloway (video) (LINK)

The Quest to Bring 3-D Printed Homes to the Developing World [H/T Linc] (LINK)

Britain's housing crisis is caused by the wrong kind of regulation - by Matt Ridley (LINK)

Freakonomics Radio Extra: Satya Nadella Full Interview (LINK)

Three Key Questions About Donald Trump’s Summit with Kim Jong Un - by Evan Osnos (LINK)

Supervolcano Goes Boom. Humans Go Meh? - by Ed Yong (LINK)

Saturday, March 10, 2018

What made Leonardo da Vinci a genius?

From Leonardo da Vinci by Walter Isaacson:
What made Leonardo a genius, what set him apart from people who are merely extraordinarily smart, was creativity, the ability to apply imagination to intellect. His facility for combining observation with fantasy allowed him, like other creative geniuses, to make unexpected leaps that related things seen to things unseen. “Talent hits a target that no one else can hit,” wrote the German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer. “Genius hits a target no one else can see.” Because they “think different,” creative masterminds are sometimes considered misfits, but in the words that Steve Jobs helped craft for an Apple advertisement, “While some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do. 
What also distinguished Leonardo’s genius was its universal nature. The world has produced other thinkers who were more profound or logical, and many who were more practical, but none who was as creative in so many different fields. Some people are geniuses in a particular arena, such as Mozart in music and Euler in math. But Leonardo’s brilliance spanned multiple disciplines, which gave him a profound feel for nature’s patterns and crosscurrents. His curiosity impelled him to become among the handful of people in history who tried to know all there was to know about everything that could be known. 
There have been, of course, many other insatiable polymaths, and even the Renaissance produced other Renaissance Men. But none painted the Mona Lisa, much less did so at the same time as producing unsurpassed anatomy drawings based on multiple dissections, coming up with schemes to divert rivers, explaining the reflection of light from the earth to the moon, opening the still-beating heart of a butchered pig to show how ventricles work, designing musical instruments, choreographing pageants, using fossils to dispute the biblical account of the deluge, and then drawing the deluge. Leonardo was a genius, but more: he was the epitome of the universal mind, one who sought to understand all of creation, including how we fit into it.

Friday, March 9, 2018


The Greatest Mentor-Mentee Relationship Ever - by Ian Cassel (LINK)
Related book: Edison As I Know Him - by Henry Ford
Buybacks & the Instant Gratification of Financial Engineering - by Frank Martin (LINK)

Amazon's Checking Account Push Shows Next Target: Swipe Fees [H/T Matt] (LINK)

Adventures in Finance Podcast: Blue Steel: Tariffs, Trade and Trump (LINK)
Related books: 1) The Accidental Superpower; 2)  The Absent Superpower
Jim Grant on the Macro Voices Podcast [The Grant segment starts around the 14-minute mark] (LINK)

Exponent Podcast: Episode 144 — 90s Alt Forever (LINK)

Wei’s Wisdom: How to read broadly (LINK)

Book of the day (to be released next month): The Warren Buffett Shareholder: Stories from inside the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting


"Most of economics is perceived to be incentives and disincentives. So, skin in the game would be to incentivize people if they do well, and also disincentivize them. But that's not it. No. Skin in the game for me is about filtering. It's evolution. You cannot have evolution if you don't have skin in the game. In other words, you are filtering people out of the system. And I give the example of bad drivers. Now, why is it that on a highway, when I drive on a highway, you don't, I don't really encounter people who are, you know, go tapioca and drive crazily, kill 30 people? Why doesn't it happen? Well, it doesn't happen because bad drivers kill themselves. Partly because they kill themselves, and also partly because, okay, we catch them....we filter them out of the system by taking away their driver's license. And we're good at doing that, for those who have survived. So...this is filtering. Filtering is necessary for the functioning of nature. Necessary for the functioning of anything. And that's called evolution." -Nassim Taleb (Source)

Thursday, March 8, 2018


Ideas That Changed My Life - by Morgan Housel (LINK)

Bill Miller on Philosophy: An Interview (LINK)

The Tim Ferriss Show (podcast): Joe Gebbia -- Co-Founder of Airbnb (LINK)

Freakonomics Radio (podcast): Here’s Why All Your Projects Are Always Late — and What to Do About It (LINK)

A star is about to plunge head first toward a monster black hole. Astronomers are ready to watch. - by Phil Plait (LINK)

Leopards that live in cities are protecting people from rabies (LINK)

Hawaii: Where Evolution Can Be Surprisingly Predictable - by Ed Yong (LINK)


"He who fears death will never do anything worthy of a man who is alive, but he who knows that these were the terms drawn up for him at the moment of his conception will live according to the bond, and at the same time will also with like strength of mind guarantee that none of the things that happen shall be unexpected. For by looking forward to whatever can happen as though it would happen, he will soften the attacks of all ills, which bring nothing strange to those who have been prepared beforehand and are expecting them; it is the unconcerned and those that expect nothing but good fortune upon whom they fall heavily. Sickness comes, captivity, disaster, conflagration, but none of them is unexpected — I always knew in what disorderly company Nature had confined me." -Seneca, "On Tranquility of Mind" 

Wednesday, March 7, 2018


"You don't necessarily get it right the first time.... Henry Ford, as you may know, failed twice before he started the Ford Motor Company in 1903. The test isn't whether you get the greatest business idea in the world the first time out. The test is whether you keep learning as you go along what your strengths are, what you can do for your customers, what you can bring especially to the party. And to do that, you need...a genuine desire—day in, day out—to delight the customer." -Warren Buffett

The Micro PE Reality Check - by Brent Beshore (LINK)

Latticework of Mental Models: Thinking From First Principles (LINK)

Pretenders and Ghosts: Stealth promotion network exploits financial sites to tout stocks (LINK)

KPMG Acts Globally But Keeps Scandals Local ($) (LINK)

Masters of Scale Podcast: How To Do Good And Do Good Business with Starbucks' Howard Schultz (LINK) [The Schultz part really starts around the 11:40 mark.]

People Don't Actually Know Themselves Very Well - by Adam Grant (LINK)

Everyone Is Going Through Something - by Kevin Love (LINK)

What tennis and philanthropy have in common - By Roger Federer  (LINK)

The Fish That Makes Other Fish Smarter - by Ed Yong (LINK)

Do Adult Brains Make New Neurons? A Contentious New Study Says No - by Ed Yong (LINK)
It’s the latest chapter in a century-long debate about whether neurogenesis continues throughout humans’ lives.

Warren Buffett - Advice for Entrepreneurs

February 13th, 2018: Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway CEO, talked about his personal experience in business and gave advice to small business owners.

Link to video

[H/T Vishal]

[And for members of the Intelligent Fanatics website, there is also a transcript of this talk HERE.]

Tuesday, March 6, 2018


Incentivizing For Innovation - by Ian Cassel (LINK)

Invest Like the Best Podcast: The Berkshire of Software, with Savneet Singh (LINK)
Related article: Building the Berkshire Hathaway of Software
Grant’s Podcast: The rates puzzle (LINK)

The Ordinary Greatness of Roger Bannister - by Malcolm Gladwell (LINK)

Billionaire Paul Allen Discovers World War II Era Aircraft Carrier in Australia's Coral Sea (LINK)

Nature’s Partnerships Might Break in a Warming World - by Ed Yong (LINK)

Captive Orangutans Are Curious (But Wild Ones Are Not) - by Ed Yong (LINK)

Monday, March 5, 2018


Nassim Taleb on EconTalk, discussing his book Skin in the Game (podcast) (LINK)

What do I mean by Skin in the Game? My Own Version - by Nassim Taleb (LINK)

Joel Greenblatt on Fox Business [H/T Will and Linc] (Video 1, Video 2, Video 3)

Mutual Fund Observer, March 2018 (LINK) [With a brief profile of one of the funds managed by the great team at Fenimore Asset Management.]

Interest Rates and Stock Prices: It's Complicated! - by Aswath Damodaran (LINK)

Lessons from Spotify - by Ben Thompson (LINK)

Business Lessons from Jim Clark (Silicon Graphics, Netscape, etc.) - by Tren Griffin (LINK)

a16z Video: Distribution and Sales Channels - by Ben Horowitz (LINK)

How a society gala was used to sell young-blood transfusions to baby boomers desperate to cheat death - by Rebecca Robbins [H/T @edyong209] (LINK)

We need new ways of treating depression [H/T @Atul_Gawande] (LINK)

One-handed prospect Shaquem Griffin stars at NFL combine [H/T Linc] (LINK)

The Bannister Method - by Seth Godin (LINK)

The Tyranny of Convenience - by Tim Wu [H/T Cal Newport] (LINK)

When Twenty-Six Thousand Stinkbugs Invade Your Home - by Kathryn Schulz (LINK)

Friday, March 2, 2018


"Neither Jerry nor I believed the efficient market theory. I had overwhelming evidence of inefficiency from blackjack, from the history of Warren Buffett and friends, and from our daily success in Princeton Newport Partners. We didn’t ask, Is the market efficient? but rather, In what ways and to what extent is the market inefficient? and How can we exploit this?" - Ed Thorp, A Man for All Markets [currently $1.99 on Kindle]

Is Warren Buffett Too Big to Beat the Market? - by Jason Zweig ($) (LINK)

An interview with Peter Buffett (LINK)
Related book: Life Is What You Make It: Find Your Own Path to Fulfillment
The Broyhill Annual Letter - Hilariously Rich (LINK)

New leader of $6 billion money-management firm looks to podcasts and cryptocurrencies to keep active investing relevant (LINK)

Exponent Podcast: Episode 143 — Dilly-Dallying Dropbox (LINK)

Shake Shack founder Danny Meyer on the When to Jump podcast [H/T Abnormal Returns] (LINK)

Sal Khan: "Education Reimagined" | Talks at Google (LINK)

Carl Icahn dumped millions in steel-related stock last week [H/T @eosnos] (LINK)
Related article from last year: Carl Icahn's Failed Raid on Washington (The New Yorker, August 2017) 
Possibly worth reviewing given yesterday's news on trade...
Tyler Cowen's podcast chat with Douglas Irwin whose book, Clashing over Commerce: A History of US Trade Policy, Cowen thinks is the best history of American trade policy ever written.

Tyler Cowen’s 12 rules for life (LINK)

Jordan Peterson: 'I Don't Want People Falling Down in an Ideological Abyss' (LINK)

The Role of Luck in Life Success Is Far Greater Than We Realized [H/T @sfiscience] (LINK)

The Temin Effect (LINK)

Book of the day [H/T @awealthofcs]: A Splendid Exchange: How Trade Shaped the World - by William J. Bernstein

Thursday, March 1, 2018


Nassim Taleb chats with Gad Saad about his new book, Skin in the Game (video) (LINK)

The Absolute Return Letter - March 2018 (LINK)
Related book: The End of Indexing
Bethany McLean & Roddy Boyd on Forensic Talk with Jim Campbell (audio) (LINK)

WorkLife with Adam Grant [a new podcast]: Dear Billionaire, I Give You a D-Minus (LINK)
In most workplaces, criticizing your boss is a great way to lose your job. At Bridgewater Associates, you can be fired for NOT criticizing your boss. We grill founder Ray Dalio and a series of employees to figure out how this kind of radical transparency works in real life -- and how we can all get better at dishing it out (and taking it).
Discovering Gilgamesh, the World’s First Action Hero (LINK)

How to Break Free from Limiting Beliefs [H/T @AnnieDuke] (LINK)