Monday, December 30, 2019


"Ben Graham always used to say you can get in more trouble in investment with a good premise than with a bad premise, because the bad premise will shout out to you immediately as being fallacious, whereas with a good premise it’ll work for awhile. Businesses are worth more money if interest rates fall and stocks rise. But then eventually the market action of the securities themselves creates its own rationale for a large crop of buyers, and people forget about the reasons and the mathematical limitations that were implied in what got them excited in the first place. And after a while, rising prices themselves alone will keep people excited and cause more people to enter the game. And therefore the good premise, after a while, is forgotten except for the fact that it produced these rising prices.... People tend to forget about the importance of the price they pay as the experience of a bull market just sort of dulls the senses generally." --Warren Buffett (1997)

What I’m thinking about this New Year’s Eve - by Bill Gates (LINK)
As the year comes to an end, I reflect on how we can make our tax system more fair.
I've posted these before, but they are once again making the rounds, so in case anyone hasn't seen them yet.... Joel Greenblatt 2005 class videos (LINK) [And related to these, there are also old Bruce Greenwald lectures online, and more recent lectures from Aswath Damodaran.]

The Market is Huge! Revisiting the Big Market Delusion - by Aswath Damodaran (LINK)

2019 Position Review - by Harris Kupperman (LINK)

As Shale Wells Age, Gap Between Forecasts and Performance Grows ($) (LINK)

The 2010s Killed the Cult of the Tech Founder. Great! - by Steven Levy (LINK)

Imagining Our Future Through Tech (video) (LINK)

Grant’s Current Yield Podcast: Home Alone (LINK)

Acquired Podcast: The Lean Startup and the Long-Term Stock Exchange (with Eric Ries) (LINK)

Books for our time: seven classics that speak to us now [H/T @jasonzweigwsj] (LINK)

10 Important Lessons We Learned from the 2010s - by Mark Manson (LINK)

Friday, December 27, 2019


"There's no such thing as a value company. Price is all that matters. At some price, an asset is a buy, at another it's a hold, and at another it's a sell." --Seth Klarman

Buffett Lieutenant to Head Berkshire Hathaway’s Geico Insurance Unit ($) (LINK)
Todd Combs to succeed Bill Roberts, who will retire at the end of 2020

Is China Beating America to AI Supremacy? - by Graham Allison (LINK)

Amazon Advertising, Explained (LINK)

Banks Own Thousands of Railcars but Don't Know What to Do With Them ($) (LINK)

A Sea Change in Fuel Prices Is Imminent ($) (LINK)
January’s deadline to use cleaner marine fuel could ripple through the global fuel market on land and sea
Martin Stopford at the 2019 Hong Kong Maritime Forum - Where We Are in the Shipping Cycle Today (video) (LINK)
Related book: Maritime Economics - by Martin Stopford
Hyman Minsky explains financial fragility in his own words (November 1987 video) [H/T Ritholtz] (LINK)

We’ve just had the best decade in human history. Seriously - by Matt Ridley (LINK)

Grant’s Current Yield Podcast: Winter reading (LINK)
Related book: Great Society: A New History - by Amity Shlaes
Wall Street Unplugged Podcast: The best value ideas for 2020 [with Jonathan Boyar] (LINK)

The Tim Ferriss Show (podcast): #403: Tony Fadell — On Building the iPod, iPhone, Nest, and a Life of Curiosity (LINK)

The Knowledge Project Podcast: #72 Neil Pasricha: Happy Habits (LINK)

How a 35,000-Year-Old Frozen Woolly Mammoth Tastes (LINK)

Why You Never Have Time - by Derek Thompson (LINK)

The Two Kinds of Moderate - by Paul Graham (LINK)

Fashionable Problems - by Paul Graham (LINK)

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

A good conscience is a continual Christmas...

“Let no pleasure tempt thee, no profit allure thee, no ambition corrupt thee, no example sway thee, no persuasion move thee, to do any thing which thou knowest to be evil; so shalt thou always live jollily; for a good conscience is a continual Christmas.” --Ben Franklin

Saturday, December 21, 2019


"Many people believe that investors must make the macro decision to be either bullish or bearish. Our preference is to be agnostic, objectively finding absolute bargains, and in their absence, holding cash. In short, we are neither bullish nor bearish. We are value-ish." --Seth Klarman

Peter Lynch: How to Find Growth Opportunities in Today’s Stock Market (LINK) ["My best stocks have been ones where I didn’t have to worry about the big picture."]

Fidelity’s Peter Lynch: Do your research, don’t ‘play’ the market (video) [H/T Linc] (LINK)

Value Investing with Legends Podcast: Bruce Greenwald - Staying on the Right Side of the Trade (LINK)

Masters of Scale with Reid Hoffman (podcast): Bill Gates — The biggest success story you haven’t heard (LINK)

Fall 2019 Exhibit | Finding the Edge: The Work and Insights of Edward O. Thorp (video) (LINK)

Druckenmiller on 2020 Outlook, Monetary Policy, U.S. Election (video) (LINK)

All Asset All Access – Insights from Research Affiliates (LINK)

Could It Be That a Minsky “Moment” Lurks in the Shadows? - by Frank K. Martin (LINK)

11 Lessons from the Success of Disney+ - by Matthew Ball (LINK)

SoftBank Vision Fund Employees Depict a Culture of Recklessness (LINK)

Key Countries Aren’t Ready for Historic Ship-Fuel Switch (LINK)

The Market Huddle Podcast: Christmas with Kuppy (LINK)

Acquired Podcast: Convoy (with CEO Dan Lewis) (LINK)

The Disruptive Voice Podcast: Choosing College: Bob Moesta and Michael Horn on Why We Hire Education (LINK)

Doctors Prescribe More of a Drug If They Receive Money from a Pharma Company Tied to It (LINK)

Farnam Street’s 2019 Annual Letter to Readers (LINK)

The Infinite Game - by Blas Moros (LINK)
I wrote an essay I wish I had been given when I graduated from college, retired from tennis, and began the transition from student-athlete to the “real world.” 
Through this essay, I hope to provide some awareness and tools, namely around self-reflection and self-awareness, how to think about how to spend your time, what to look for in a job, and the importance of coaches and mentors. 
While written through the lens of a student-athlete, hopefully some of these principles and tools apply to a broader audience.

Friday, December 20, 2019

Warren Buffett on what you need to know to make good investment decisions over time...

From the 2009 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting:
You just have to stay within the circle of competence, the things that you can understand. And look for things that are selling for less than they’re worth, of the ones you can value.  
And you can start out with a fairly small circle of competence and learn more about businesses as you go along.  
But you’ll learn that there are a whole bunch of them that simply don’t lend themselves to valuations and you forget about those.  
Accounting helps you in that. You need to understand accounting to know the language of business, but accounting also has enormous limitations. And you have to learn enough to know what accounting is meaningful and when you have to ignore certain aspects of accounting.  
You have to understand when competitive advantages are durable and when they’re fleeting. 
And then have to learn the difference between a hula hoop company and Coca-Cola. But that isn’t too hard to do.  
And then you have to know how to think about market fluctuations and really learn that the market is there to serve you rather than to instruct you.  
And to a great extent, that is not a matter of IQ. If you’re in the investment business and you have a IQ of 150, sell 30 points to somebody else, ’cause you don’t need it.  
You need to be reasonably intelligent. But you do not need to be a genius—at all. In fact, it can hurt.  
But you do have to have an emotional stability. You have to have sort of an inner peace about your decisions. Because it is a game where you get subjected to minute-by-minute stimuli, where people are offering opinions all the time. 
You have to be able to think for yourself. And I don’t know how much of that’s innate and how much can be taught.  
But if you have that quality, you’ll do very well in investing if you spend some time at it. Learn something about valuing businesses.  
It’s not a complicated game. As I've said many times — it’s simple, but not easy.  
It is not a complicated game. You don’t have to understand higher math. You don’t have to understand law. There’s all kinds of things that you don’t have to be good at. There’s all kinds of jobs in this world that are much tougher.  
But you do have to have sort of an emotional stability that will take you through almost anything. And then you’ll make good investment decisions over time. 

Wednesday, December 18, 2019


"When we own stock, we are not there to try and change people. Our luck in changing them is very low, anyway. In fact, Charlie and I have been on boards of directors where we’re the largest shareholders and we’ve had very little luck in changing behavior. So, we think that if you buy stock in a company, you better not count on the fact that you’re going to change their course of action." --Warren Buffett (2009)

The Financial Lesson of 2008-09 That Most Investors Have Forgotten - by Jason Zweig ($) (LINK)
If your memory minimizes how much you lost in the last bear market, you can easily overestimate how brave you will be in the next one
CFP Board to Tighten Oversight of Financial Advisers ($) (LINK)

Understanding Money (LINK)

The Financial Illiteracy Epidemic (LINK)

The 2019 Stratechery Year in Review – by Ben Thompson (LINK)

Jobs-to-be-Done - by Mike Dariano (Kindle ebook, PDF, Podcast)

What Does an Oil Refinery Do? (podcast) (LINK)

The Cutting Room Files, Part 6: The Future of the China - by Melissa Taylor and Peter Zeihan (LINK)
Related book: Disunited Nations: The Scramble for Power in an Ungoverned World
How to Fix Our Prisons? Let the Public Inside [H/T @RogerLowenstein] (LINK)

Across the Universe, it's the normal galaxies doing all the star-making work - by Phil Plait (LINK)

Extraordinary Routines [H/T @ChrisPavese] (LINK)

A couple of books mentioned by Marc Andreessen in his recent chat with Kevin Kelly: 1) VC: An American History; 2) More from Less: The Surprising Story of How We Learned to Prosper Using Fewer Resources―and What Happens Next

"There is so much that’s false and nutty in modern investment practice, and in modern investment banking, and in modern academia in the business schools, even in the Economics departments, that if you just reduce the nonsense, that’s all I think you should reasonably hope for." --Charlie Munger (2009)

Tuesday, December 17, 2019


"[I think] one of the keys to investing and one of the things I said in the book [is that] we're very good at buying, not so great at selling. But look down, not up, when making a big investment—meaning, how much can we lose?" --Joel Greenblatt (interview with Jim Grant on Real Vision)

"Why won't we do momentum investing? The reason for that really is that—let's say it didn't work for the next two years. It could be that it's just cyclically out of favor—it works over the long time, we just need to be patient and it will work. Or it could be that there's plenty of data in research papers and computers and ability to crunch numbers, and the trade now—and it's not so hard to figure out a stock used to be down here and now it's up here and it's got good momentum—and the trade's become crowded, it's degraded and that's why it doesn't work over the next two years. Two years from now, I wouldn't know the answer to that question. Is it just cyclically out of favor momentum or has the trade become crowded and degraded?... But if we're looking at cash flows and valuing businesses just like we value a house...that's what we do. It's possible that that kind of analysis doesn't work over the next two years, but I'm not going to stop doing what we're doing because it's the difference between causation and correlation. Momentum has correlated with good returns in the past.... What we look at is causation, and that's valuing businesses and the way we value businesses is looking at the cash flows." --Joel Greenblatt (interview with Jim Grant on Real Vision)


You Might Be Buying Trash on Amazon—Literally ($) (LINK)

Risk Management—Why Bother? - by Eric Cinnamond (LINK)

The presumed end of the Value premium [H/T @marketplunger1] (LINK)

Mormon Church has misled members on $100 billion tax-exempt investment fund, whistleblower alleges (LINK)

Where the 5G Data Storm Will Hit First (LINK)

Invest Like the Best Podcast: Ben Savage – All Things Fintech Investing (LINK)

The World According to Boyar Podcast: Episode 12: Mellody Hobson (LINK)

Monday, December 16, 2019


"If you need to use a computer or a calculator to make the calculation, you shouldn’t buy it. It should be so obvious that you don’t have to carry it out to tenths of a percent or hundredths of a percent. It should scream at you. So if you really need a calculator to figure out that the discount rate is 9.6 percent instead of 9.8 percent — forget about the whole exercise. Just go onto something that shouts at you. And essentially, we look at every business that way. But you’re right, we do not sit down with spreadsheets and do all that sort of thing. We just see something that obviously is better than anything else around, that we understand. And then we act." --Warren Buffett (2009)

"I’d say some of the worst business decisions I’ve ever seen are those that are done with a lot of formal projections and discounts back. Shell Oil Company did that when they bought the Belridge Oil Company. And they had all these engineers make all these elaborate figures. And the trouble is you get to believe the figures. And it seems that the higher mathematics, with more false precision, should help you. But it doesn’t. The effects, averaged out, are negative when you try and formalize it to the degree you’re talking about. They do that in business schools because, well, they got to do something." --Charlie Munger (2009)

"It’s a terrible mistake to think that mathematics will take you a long place in investing. You have to understand certain aspects of mathematics. But you don’t have to understand higher mathematics. And higher mathematics may actually be dangerous and it will lead you down pathways that are better left untrod." --Warren Buffett (2009)


Brent Beshore's‬⁩ 2019 Annual Letter (LINK)

The Money Men Who Enabled Adam Neumann and the WeWork Debacle ($) (LINK)

Notes on a Reading Framework - by Venkatesh Jayaraman (LINK)

Hidden Forces Podcast: The Greatest Story Ever Sold: The Rise of Passive Investing & the Fall of the Free Market | Mike Green (LINK)

Starting Greatness Podcast: Marc Andreessen: “Was Netscape an Overnight Success?” (LINK)

The Acquirers Podcast: Endowment Value: Mark Yusko on the endowment model, value investing and bitcoin, crypto and digital assets (LINK)

The Investor’s Podcast Network: TIP273: Billionaire Jim Simons’ Quant Revolution w/ Gregory Zuckerman (LINK)
Related book: The Man Who Solved the Market: How Jim Simons Launched the Quant Revolution
Odd Lots Podcast: How Online Dating Is Reshaping the Entire Economy (LINK)
Related paper: The Dating Market: Thesis Overview
There’s No Such Thing as ‘Quality’ Time - by Ryan Holiday (LINK)

Jupiter is still really weird: A new monster storm has formed around its south pole - by Phil Plait (LINK)

Friday, December 13, 2019


"I would argue that differing people learn in differing ways. With me, I was put together by nature to learn from reading. If some guy’s talking to me, he’s telling me something I don’t know, I don’t want to know, I already know, or he’s doing it too slow or too fast. In reading, I can learn what I want at the speed that works. So, to me, reading is what works for my nature. And to all of you who are at all like me, I say welcome. It’s a nice fraternity.... My father was the type that always did more than his share of the work and took more of his share of the risk. All that kind of example was, of course, very helpful, and you learn it better from a person close to you. But in terms of the conceptual stuff, I’d say I learned it from books. Now, those are fathers in a difference sense." --Charlie Munger (2008)

Marc Andreessen and Kevin Kelly: Why You Should Be Optimistic About the Future (video) (LINK)

How You Can Get Big Gains That Wall Street Can’t - by Jason Zweig ($) (LINK)

Acquisition Vehicle EverArc Raises $340 Million ($) (LINK)
EverArc Holdings Ltd., a British Virgin Islands-based acquisition vehicle, said it raised $340 million in an initial offering in London. 
The company said in a filing that it expects to use the proceeds to “acquire a business with a significant proportion of its activities in North America.” It didn’t offer further details. The firm said it expects its shares to begin trading on the London Stock Exchange on Dec. 17. 
EverArc’s board includes Tracy Britt Cool, one of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Chief Executive Warren Buffett’s key lieutenants in recent years. She announced in September that she plans to leave Berkshire next year to create her own investment firm.
David Perell's Coolest Things Learned in 2019 (LINK)

David Rosenberg on the WealthTrack Podcast (Part 1, Part 2)

The Tim Ferriss Show (podcast): #401: Gary Keller — How to Focus on the One Important Thing (LINK) ["My life is better when I'm spontaneous after I've done my most important thing. Being spontaneous before that, that's where it becomes a distraction and does me harm." --Gary Keller]
Related book: The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results
So, about that 'too massive' black hole… yeah, not so much. - by Phil Plait (LINK)

The Startling Secret of an Invincible Virus - by Ed Yong (LINK)

Tuesday, December 10, 2019


It's that time of year when Boyar Research is 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 a complimentary sample from last year’s publication with free registration to their email list.... Link to: Sign-up for complimentary sample report of The Forgotten Forty. The companies included in the sample report are Acushnet Holdings, Discovery, Bank of America, Dollar Tree, Western Union, Starbucks, and Legg Mason.


From the archives [H/T Linc].... Benjamin Graham: The Father of Financial Analysis (PDF, Free Kindle Version)

5 books to enjoy this winter - by Bill Gates (LINK)
The books: 1) Growth by Vaclav Smil; 2) Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker; 3) These Truths by Jill Lepore; 4) An American Marriage by Tayari Jones; 5) Prepared by Diane Tavenner
Energy (r)evolutions take time - by Vaclav Smil (LINK)

The Sage of Baltimore (LINK)
Related book: T. Rowe Price: The Man, The Company, and The Investment Philosophy
Invest Like the Best Podcast: Jeff Ma – Making Decisions with Data (LINK)

Short Wave Podcast: Aluminum’s Journey From Precious Metal To Beer Can (LINK)

A galaxy with three supermassive black hole hearts - by Phil Plait (LINK)

"Considering the downside is the single most important thing an investor must do. This task must be dealt with before any consideration can be made for gains. The problem is that people nowadays think they’re pretty smart because they can do something quite rapidly. You can make the horse gallop. But are you on the right path? Can you see where you’re going?" --Irving Kahn

Monday, December 9, 2019


The Lesson to Unlearn - by Paul Graham (LINK)

A Framework for Regulating Competition on the Internet - by Ben Thompson (LINK)

Josh Wolfe and Peter Thiel on a panel at the 2019 Reagan National Defense Forum (video) (LINK)

Repo Blowup Was Fueled by Big Banks and Hedge Funds, BIS Says (LINK)

‘Fake Ebitda’ to Worsen Next Slump, $33 Billion Debt Maven Warns (LINK)

Notes From Sohn London Investment Conference 2019 (LINK)

a16z Podcast: The Stories and Code of Culture Change (LINK)

Masters in Business: Ben Horowitz Discusses Culture and Success (LINK)
Related book: What You Do Is Who You Are: How to Create Your Business Culture
Venture Stories Podcast: Investing in Marketplaces with Sarah Tavel and Nabeel Hyatt (LINK)

Acquired Podcast: TikTok (LINK)

The Evolutionary Breakthrough That Gave Mammals Their Hearing (LINK)

Paul Volcker, the Carter-Reagan Fed chairman who beat inflation, dies at age 92 (LINK)

Remembering Paul Volcker: 2005 Speech at Stanford (LINK)

Book of the day: Keeping At It: The Quest for Sound Money and Good Government - by Paul Volcker

Thursday, December 5, 2019


Here's an example of how great of a resource Twitter can be at times.... Cliff Asness and Tren Griffin were disagreeing about the source of Berkshire Hathaway's outperformance over the years, and then Chris Bloomstran—who is probably the world expert on Berkshire Hathaway outside a handful or two of company insiders—chimes in with a 22-Tweet thread on the topic.

Conover Investment Advisory's December 2019 Newsletter: Inside the Great Wall (LINK)

Unintended Perk of the Online Mattress Boom: Never-Ending Free Trials ($) (LINK)

Superinvestors and the Art of Worldly Wisdom Podcast: #31: Rob Arnott On Engineering A Better Index (LINK)

Freakonomics Radio (podcast): 399. Honey, I Grew the Economy (LINK)

The Tim Ferriss Show (podcast): #399: Adam Grant — The Man Who Does Everything (LINK)

Conversations with Tyler (podcast): Daron Acemoglu on the Struggle Between State and Society (LINK)

A white dwarf is cooking a giant planet and slowly eating it - by Phil Plait (LINK)

Why Smallpox Is No More but Polio and Other Diseases Persist (LINK)

Book of the day: The World in a Grain: The Story of Sand and How It Transformed Civilization

Tuesday, December 3, 2019


"I think that the most important investment you can make is in yourself. Very, very, very few people get anything like their potential horsepower translated into the actual horsepower of their output in life. Potential exceeds realization to just an enormous factor with so many people.... Your best asset is your own self. And you can become, to an enormous degree, the person you want to be." --Warren Buffett (2008)

Portability and Interoperability - by Ben Thompson (LINK)

How Spices Have Made, and Unmade, Empires [H/T @wolfejosh] (LINK)

Prime Mover: How Amazon Wove Itself Into the Life of an American City (LINK)

The One-Traffic-Light Town with Some of the Fastest Internet in the U.S. (LINK)

The Absolute Return Letter - December 2019: A Future Embedded in the Present (LINK)

Michael Lewis on CNBC (LINK)

My Decade - by Michael Batnick (LINK)

The ergodicity problem in economics - by Ole Peters (LINK) [Mostly technical. For some non-technical thoughts on ergodicity, see Nassim Taleb's Skin in the Game, Blas Moros' summary of the book, or the recent Sanjay Bakshi presentation.]

Invest Like the Best Podcast: Vaughn Tan – Quality and Innovation (LINK)

Programming Biology: Read (r), Write (w), Execute (x) (LINK)

Monday, December 2, 2019


"I'm not saying there's no such thing as genius. But if you're trying to choose between two theories and one gives you an excuse for being lazy, the other one is probably right." --Paul Graham ("What You'll Wish You'd Known")

Overconfidence: An Autobiography - by Jason Zweig (LINK)

How to Read: Lots of Inputs and a Strong Filter - by Morgan Housel (LINK)

Survivorship Bias: The Tale of Forgotten Failures (LINK)

Yes, You Can Get Free Trading. But There’s Often a Catch. (LINK)

Startups and Uncertainty - by Jerry Neumann (LINK)

Blood and Soil in Narendra Modi’s India - by Dexter Filkins (LINK)

Masters in Business Podcast: Joe Ricketts Discusses Trade and Deregulation (LINK)

Starting Greatness Podcast: Sarah Leary of Nextdoor: “The Moment You Know You’ve Created Something Valuable” (LINK)

EconTalk Podcast: Gerd Gigerenzer on Gut Feelings (LINK)

COMPLEXITY Podcast: Olivia Judson on Major Energy Transitions in Evolutionary History (LINK)

Friday, November 29, 2019


"It’s not any goal of ours to double the revenues or increase them 20 percent, even, or anything. We just try to do whatever comes along that makes sense. And if there’s a lot that comes along in one year that makes sense, we’ll do a lot. And if there’s nothing that comes along that makes sense, we’ll do nothing. So there’s a lot of accident in it." --Warren Buffett (1996)

Warren Buffett's latest attempt to put his cash to work is thwarted (LINK)

Chris Bloomstran of Semper Augustus Investments Group doesn't like the price being offered by Kyocera for the rest of AVX. He posted some thoughts and his letter to the CEO and Special Committee on Twitter, which you can also find HERE.

Mohnish Pabrai's Annual Talk at Boston College (video) (LINK)

Josh Wolfe's Lux 2019 Annual Meeting Talk (video) (LINK)

Paul Tudor Jones and Ray Dalio at the Greenwich Economic Forum earlier this month (video) [H/T Linc] (LINK)

The Greatest Value Investor You’ve Never Heard (LINK)

Risky Business - by Frank K. Martin (LINK)

The Complete Guide To Drilling (LINK)

Value Investing with Legends Podcast: Matthew McLennan - The Power of Selectivity and Patience (LINK)

Invest Like the Best Podcast: Gavin Baker – Tech and Consumer Growth Investing (LINK)

Value: After Hours Podcast: Taylor, Brewster and Carlisle discuss Rentec, Chanos, and value (LINK)

Conversations with Tyler (podcast): Mark Zuckerberg Interviews Patrick Collison and Tyler Cowen on the Nature and Causes of Progress (LINK)

The Tim Ferriss Show (podcast): #398: Peter Attia, M.D. — Fasting, Metformin, Athletic Performance, and More (LINK)

The Beirut Banyan Podcast: 81: Nassim Nicholas Taleb & Local Solutions for Lebanon (LINK)

Origin Stories Podcast: 40: The Denisovans (LINK)

Tuesday, November 26, 2019


"To discover new things, you have to work on ideas that are good but non-obvious; if an idea is obviously good, other people are probably already working on it. One common way for a good idea to be non-obvious is for it to be hidden in the shadow of some mistaken assumption that people are very attached to." --Paul Graham

Novelty and Heresy - by Paul Graham (LINK)

Bill Gates on AI, Climate, Carbon Tax, Nuclear Power, China (video) (LINK)

Oaktree’s Marks on Global Economic Outlook, Recession (video) (LINK)

No More Gurus - by Morgan Housel (LINK)

EBITDA Definition Danger (LINK)

Infinite Loops Podcast with Jim O'Shaughnessy -- Behind the Curtains: Ramp Capital and Super Mugatu (LINK) [New podcast, available via Spotify]

Acquired Podcast: Disney, Plus (LINK)

Full Interview: Tom Hanks On ‘A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood’ (video) (LINK)

The World’s Biggest Heart Can Beat Just Twice a Minute - by Ed Yong (LINK)

Monday, November 25, 2019


"You can, of course, pay too much for even the best of businesses.... Investors making purchases in an overheated market need to recognize that it may often take an extended period for the value of even an outstanding company to catch up with the price they paid. A far more serious problem occurs when the management of a great company gets sidetracked and neglects its wonderful base business while purchasing other businesses that are so-so or worse. When that happens, the suffering of investors is often prolonged.... Loss of focus is what most worries Charlie and me when we contemplate investing in businesses that in general look outstanding. All too often, we've seen value stagnate in the presence of hubris or of boredom that caused the attention of managers to wander." --Warren Buffett (1996 Letter to Shareholders)

“You Don't Bring Bad News to the Cult Leader”: Inside the Fall of WeWork (LINK)

How Performance Reviews Can Kill Your Culture (LINK)

Venture Stories Podcast: Keith Rabois on How He Invests, Forming a Founding Team, and Funding “Ridiculous” Ideas (LINK)

How to Win in the Startup World — Mike Maples and Andy Rachleff (The Tim Ferriss Show podcast) (LINK)

The Plate Climatology Theory (video) (LINK)
A video that summarizes the building block principles of the Plate Climatology Theory and provides specific research proven examples supporting these principles.  The viewer will learn how geological forces affect or control climate and climate related events of Antarctica, the Arctic, El Nino's / La Nina's, so-called Ice Ages, or land volcanic eruptions.  
CBS This Morning Podcast: Becoming Friends with Mister Rogers [H/T @BrentBeshore] (LINK)
Related articles: 1) Can You Say...Hero? (1998); 2) My Friend Mister Rogers (2019) 


For Audible Members, the current Black Friday Week sale has many titles of note:


It's not included in the sale, but I also noticed that Damn Right: Behind the Scenes with Berkshire Hathaway Billionaire Charlie Munger is now on Audible.

Sunday, November 24, 2019


The Bus Ticket Theory of Genius - by Paul Graham (LINK)

It’s Slow Going, but Stuff Like Wheat and Oil Can Spice Up Your Returns - by Jason Zweig ($) (LINK)
The best time to get interested in an investing strategy is when its performance is at its worst. By that standard, commodities are starting to look intriguing.
Everyone Gets Paid in CBS-Viacom Except Shareholders [H/T @JohnHuber72] (LINK)

Health Care Without (much) Government - by Russ Roberts (LINK)

How to Reverse Engineer Biology (LINK)

Full Disclosure Podcast: The Overachieving Underwriter [H/T @rationalwalk] (LINK)
Markel Corp vice chairman Steve Markel on the insurer and investment shop as it approaches its 90th year in business. Worth $15 million when its shares debuted on Wall Street in 1986, Markel Corp is now a Fortune 500 member in 18 countries that is valued at more than $16 billion.
Grant’s Current Yield Podcast: It’s a gusher (LINK)

Exponent Podcast: 178 — More Ergonomic (LINK)

The Knowledge Project Podcast -- Scott Adams: Avoiding Loserthink (LINK)

One Man's Wild Quest to Reach the Bottom of Every Ocean [H/T @MebFaber] (LINK)

Thursday, November 21, 2019


CNBC’s full interview with Liberty Media Chairman John Malone (LINK)

Disney’s Kevin Mayer | Full interview | Code Media 2019 (video) (LINK)

WarnerMedia CEO John Stankey | Full interview | Code Media 2019 (video) (LINK)

This Man Is a Junkyard Billionaire (LINK)

Lessons From 24 Years of Operating: Bowl America, Inc. (LINK)

Banking on the Future: Why our most hated institutions will become our most beloved (LINK)

The Long View Podcast: Charles de Vaulx: Why Value Investing Has Slumped but Will Rebound (LINK)

Planet Money Podcast: #953: Three Sides Of A Car Loan (LINK)

Kyle Bass: "China: The Most Reckless Financial Experiment In History" (Hedgeye Investing Summit Video) (LINK)

Health Care Lessons from Dr. Keith Smith - by Russ Roberts (LINK)

Here’s to the Crazy Ones (LINK)

The Fascination With the Skin of a Dead French Revolutionary - by Sarah Zhang (LINK)

Whack 'em or nuke 'em: How to deflect a killer asteroid - by Phil Plait (LINK)

Tuesday, November 19, 2019


"Throughout the careers Charlie and I have had in investing, there have always been hundreds of cases, or thousands of cases, of things that are ridiculously priced, and phony stock promotions, and the gullible being led to believe in things that just can’t come true. So that’s always gone on. It always will go on. And it doesn’t make any difference to us. We are not trying to predict markets. We never will try and predict markets. We’re trying to find wonderful businesses. And the fact that a part of the market is kind of screwy, that’s unimportant to us." --Warren Buffett (1996)

Integration and Monopoly - by Ben Thompson (LINK)

Oaktree Insights: A Place for Real Estate Debt in Global Credit Investing (LINK)

The Greatest Money-Making Machine of All Time: On Renaissance Technologies and the Medallion Fund (LINK)

Aswath Damodaran on Aramco's IPO (Part 1, Part 2)

Invest Like the Best Podcast: Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger – How to Build a Great Product (LINK)

EconTalk Podcast: Keith Smith on Free Market Health Care (LINK)

Hidden Forces Podcast: The Present Danger: America, China, and the Second Cold War | Kyle Bass (LINK)

‘Absolutely No Mercy’: Leaked Files Expose How China Organized Mass Detentions of Muslims (LINK)

Elastic: Flexible Thinking in a Constantly Changing World (LINK)

Algorithmic Blindspots - by David Perell (LINK)

The Greatest Shortcut for Leaders Is Reading Books - by Ryan Holiday (LINK)

Why polio is still around—and why we can eradicate it - by Bill Gates (LINK)

What America Lost When It Lost the Bison - by Ed Yong (LINK)

Saturday, November 16, 2019

David Goggins quote

From the audiobook version of Can't Hurt Me:
You have to turn that around yourself. No one is coming to save you. We have this mentality of "I'm going to wait to be saved. I'm going to wait for someone to come and help me." And I'm telling you right now, I believe in God—a lot of us believe in praying on it and stuff like that. Yeah, you can pray on it. But if you sit in a room and pray on it and do nothing about it, nothing's gonna happen. You have to put work behind everything in life. You have to put effort. You have to put friction behind something for something to change.

Friday, November 15, 2019


"We could make a lot of decisions about a lot of things very fast and very easily. And we’re unusual in that respect. And the reason we’re able to do that is there’s such an enormous other lot of things that we won’t allow ourselves to think about at all. It’s just that simple. I have a little phrase when people make pitches to me, and about halfway through the first sentence, I say, 'We don’t do startups.' They don’t exist. Well, if you blot out startups, there’s a whole layer of complexity that goes out of your life. And we’ve got other little blotter-out systems. And using those, we finally find out that what remains is still a pretty large territory that we can handle." --Charlie Munger (2008)

Value Investing with Legends Podcast: Joel Greenblatt - Investing Off the Beaten Path (LINK)

Scaling Fallacy in Investing (LINK)

The Softbank-WeWork End Game: Savior Economics or Sunk Cost Problem? - by Aswath Damodaran (LINK)

The Brooklyn Investor blog: What It Takes, Dimon, Twitter etc. (LINK)

The Acquirers Podcast: Growth Underwriter: Marcelo Lima on valuing SaaS businesses Amazon, Facebook, and Netflix (LINK)

Five Good Questions Podcast: Alan Klement - When Coffee and Kale Compete (LINK)

The Disruptive Voice Podcast: Disruption and electrification in the auto industry featuring Cliff Maxwell and Ned Calder (LINK)

Apes Might Know That You Don’t Know What They Know - by Ed Yong (LINK)

Thursday, November 14, 2019


"I would say that I like a certain amount of social intervention that takes some of the inequality out of results in capitalism. But I hate, with a passion, rewarding anything that can be easily faked. Because I think then people lie, and lying works, and the lying spreads. And I think your whole civilization deteriorates." --Charlie Munger (1996)

Sam Zell on Bloomberg TV discussing buying distressed oil assetsdiscussing WeWork, and discussing why he's not investing in Hong Kong.

Past as Prologue - by Frank K. Martin (LINK)

The Case Against Boeing (LINK)

Stephen Schwarzman on The David Rubenstein Show (video) (LINK)
Related book: What It Takes: Lessons in the Pursuit of Excellence
Planet MicroCap Podcast: 100 - Investing: It’s All About the Journey with Ian Cassel (LINK)

The Joe Rogan Experience (podcast): #1383 - Malcolm Gladwell (LINK)
Related book: Talking to Strangers
The Tim Ferriss Show (podcast): #395: Jocko Willink Takeover — On Quitting, Relationships, Financial Discipline, Contrast Baths, and More (LINK)

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Sorfis is now on Schwab

I'm pleased to announce that we've added Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. as a second custodian for offering our services. Given the extent of the Schwab platform, as well as the desire of some potential clients we've spoken with for a more diversified product than the Absolute Return Strategy, we are also now willing and able to offer more customized accounts.

For more details, please see the Services section of the website.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019


"Charlie and I spend a lot of time thinking about things that could hit us out of the blue that other people don’t include in their thinking. And we may miss some opportunities because of that, but we feel it’s essential when managing other people’s money or, for that matter, managing our own money." --Warren Buffett (2008)

Common Plots of Economic History - by Morgan Housel (LINK)

The Google Squeeze - by Ben Thompson (LINK)

Oaktree Insights: A Deeper Dive into Structured Credit (LINK)

The Knowledge Project Podcast: What It Takes with Stephen Schwarzman (LINK)
Related book: What It Takes: Lessons in the Pursuit of Excellence
Invest Like the Best Podcast: Daniel Ek – The Future of Audio (LINK)

Business Casual Podcast -- Risk it all: Matt Ball dissects the streaming wars (LINK)

Signaling: The Language Peacocks, Gazelles, and Humans All Speak (LINK)

How the Nile River Has Stayed In One Place for 30 Million Years (LINK)

Monday, November 11, 2019


"We really like things that you don’t have to carry out to three decimal places, you know. If you have to carry it out to three decimal places, it’s not a good idea.... It’s like if somebody walked in the door here and they weighed somewhere between 300 and 350 pounds. I might not know how much they weigh, but I would know they were fat. That’s all I’m looking for, is something that’s financially fat." --Warren Buffett (2008)

Jamie Dimon on "60 Minutes" (video) (LINK)

Chuck Akre and John Neff of Akre Capital Management on WealthTrack (video) (LINK)

Ironing Out an Investing Mystery - by Jason Zweig ($) (LINK)
‘Earnings management’ has become even more widespread in emerging markets than in developed markets like the U.S.
Pensions Venture Into Risky Corners of the Market in Hunt for Returns ($) (LINK)

Wise fiscal policy is not about helicopter money - by Claudio Borio (LINK)

The new dot com bubble is here: it’s called online advertising (LINK)

What is the endgame for Disney+? (LINK)

EconTalk Podcast: Rory Sutherland on Alchemy (LINK)
Related book: Alchemy: The Dark Art and Curious Science of Creating Magic in Brands, Business, and Life 
Exponent Podcast: 177 — Principle Stacks (LINK)

Odd Lots Podcast: Why The Repo Markets Went Crazy, And Why December Could Be Even Worse (LINK)

Grant’s Current Yield Podcast: Let the analytics department pitch to Drumbowski (LINK)

Short Wave Podcast: Can Global Shipping Go Zero Carbon? (LINK)

The New Yorker: Politics and More Podcast: How Facebook Continues to Spread Fake News [with Evan Osnos] (LINK)

For the golf fans out there.... Are You Not Entertained? Podcast: 208 - Jeehae Lee & Craig Connolly (the wee man) on the future of golf (LINK)

The ‘Ghost’ Genes of a Nearly Extinct Animal Live on in Texas - by Sarah Zhang (LINK)
A photographer began shooting unusual-looking coyotes on Galveston Island. They turned out to be descended from a very rare wolf species.

Thursday, November 7, 2019


"It’s crazy to have people get so big and so important that you can’t allow them to fail, and allow them to be run with as much knavery and stupidity as permeated the major investment banks. It’s not that Berkshire hasn’t had wonderful service from investment banking all these years, because we have. It’s just that, as an industry, this crazy culture of greed and overreaching and overconfidence in trading algorithms and so on creeps in. I would argue it’s quite counterproductive for the country, and it ought to be reigned way back. These institutions are too big to fail, and it was demented to allow derivative trading to end up the way it’s ended up and with the current risks that are embedded in the present system. And it’s amazing how few people spoke against it as it was happening. There was just so much easy money to be reported. A lot of the money that was reported as being earned wasn’t really being earned. It was in that wonderful category of assets that I call 'good until reached for.' They sit there on the balance sheet, and when you reach for it, it just fades away like — mist." --Charlie Munger (May 3, 2008)

Bill Gates at the DealBook conference (video) (LINK)

Reed Hastings at the DealBook conference (video) (LINK)

[The rest of the DealBook conference videos can be found HERE.]

The World Has Gone Mad and the System Is Broken - by Ray Dalio (LINK)

Three Things I Think I Think – Has The World Gone Mad? - by Cullen Roche (LINK)

The Acquirers Podcast: Ian Cassel turns the tables and interviews Tobias Carlisle (LINK)

Masters of Scale with Reid Hoffman (podcast): Bill Gates — How to accelerate history (LINK)

The Hazards of Talking to Strangers (LINK)

Tuesday, November 5, 2019


How to Build Your Own BRK [via @Sanjay__Bakshi] (LINK)

The Popular Delusions newsletter relaunches (Dylan Grice) (LINK) [To subscribe, go HERE.]

Secrets of the Greatest Hedge Fund of All Time (video) (LINK)
Related book: The Man Who Solved the Market: How Jim Simons Launched the Quant Revolution
Boyar Value Group's Q3 Letter (LINK)

Tech and Liberty - by Ben Thompson (LINK)

De Beers Cuts Diamond Prices by About 5% as Industry Crisis Deepens (LINK)

Invest Like the Best Podcast: George Rzepecki – Investing in Africa (LINK)

EconTalk Podcast: Venkatesh Rao on Waldenponding (LINK)

Big Questions with Cal Fussman Podcast: Charles Schwab: How To Own Your Tomorrow (LINK)

Making Sense with Sam Harris Podcast: #174 — Richard Dawkins (LINK)

The James Altucher Show (podcast): 503 - The Path to Stillness: Ryan Holiday on How to Develop Self-Discipline & Reduce Overwhelm (LINK)
Related book: Stillness Is the Key

Sunday, November 3, 2019


"In general terms, unless you find the prices of a great company really offensive.... I think it’s better just to own them. We could attempt to buy and sell some of the things that we own that we think are fine businesses. But they’re too hard to find.... So, to sit there and hope that you buy them in the throes of some panic, that you sort of take the attitude of a mortician, waiting for a flu epidemic or something.... I’m not sure that will be a great technique....  I think the main thing to do is find wonderful businesses.... We’ve had our share of flu epidemics. But you don’t want to spend your life waiting around for them." --Warren Buffett (1996)

"By definition, a great company is one that’s going to remain great for 30 years. If it’s going to be a great company for three years, it ain’t a great company. So, you really want to go along with the idea of something that, if you were going to take a trip for 20 years, you wouldn’t feel bad leaving the money in with no orders with your broker and no power of attorney or anything, and you just go on the trip. And you know you come back, and it’s going to be a terribly strong company." --Warren Buffett (1996)

Berkshire Hathaway's Cash Pile Hits a Record ($) (LINK)

The Making of the World’s Greatest Investor ($) (LINK)
Related book: The Man Who Solved the Market: How Jim Simons Launched the Quant Revolution
Masters in Business Podcast: Gregory Zuckerman on the Quant Revolution (LINK)

Sometimes the Stock Market Needs ‘Knights of Faith’ - by Jason Zweig ($) (LINK) [Zweig also added some more detail HERE.]

The Absolute Return Letter - November 2019: How to invest in a low growth world (Part 2 of 2) (LINK)

Ray Dalio on The David Rubenstein Show (video) (LINK)

Value Investing with Legends Podcast: Leon Cooperman - Looking For More For Less (LINK)

a16z Podcast: Come for the Games, Stay for the Party (LINK)

Think Again Podcast: 218. Bill Bryson – the most extraordinary machine (LINK)
Related book: The Body: A Guide for Occupants 
A ‘Horror Movie’ Fish That Moves on Land—Or Does It? (LINK)

Thursday, October 31, 2019


The Latticework Podcast, presented by MOI Global: William Green with Arnold Van Den Berg at Latticework New York 2019 (LINK)

Rob Arnott Video: Past Is Not Prologue (LINK)
Chasing returns can be very costly. High valuations can go higher, but not indefinitely. At Research Affiliates’ recent Investment Symposium in London, Rob Arnott explains how the link between starting valuations and subsequent returns is powerful, and examines which investments look attractive today.
The Spectrum of Wealth - by Morgan Housel (LINK)

Value investor Joel Greenblatt says this company could solve a key hurdle in esports’ growth [H/T Linc] (LINK)

Barry Diller on CNBC (LINK)

Apollo Asia Fund: the manager's report for 3Q19 (LINK)

Remember QR Codes? They’re More Powerful Than You Think (LINK)

Venture Stories Podcast: Jerry Yang on China, Yahoo!, and Early-Stage Investing (LINK)

What is Chasing You? - by Ian Cassel (LINK)

Tuesday, October 29, 2019


Buildings are bad for the climate. Here’s what we can do about it. - by Bill Gates (LINK)

Key Takeaways from the book Genius: The Life and Science of Richard Feynman (LINK)

Key Takeaways from the book Who Is Michael Ovitz? (LINK)

An essay from Matthew Ball on how the Marvel Cinematic Universe came to be the most dominant cultural force Hollywood has ever seen (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4)

Q&A with former Facebook security chief Alex Stamos about Mark Zuckerberg's recent comments on free speech and where he went wrong, Facebook's News tab, fact-checking political ads, and more (LINK)

Invest Like the Best Podcast: Chad Cascarilla – The Future of Blockchain and Financial Services (LINK)

Peter Thiel on “The Straussian Moment” (video) (LINK)

Why Don’t We Know How to Protect Our Time? - by Ryan Holiday (LINK)

Monday, October 28, 2019


"We’re looking for the obvious, and something that is within our capability of doing something about. But we’re not trying to beat people at their own game where we’re not very good at the game." --Warren Buffett (1996)

How Jim Simons Built the Best Hedge Fund Ever (LINK)
Related book: The Man Who Solved the Market: How Jim Simons Launched the Quant Revolution
Disney Is New to Streaming, but Its Marketing Is Unmatched (LINK)

Bradley Jacobs Has Acquired More Than 500 Companies. Here's What He Has Learned. ($) (LINK)

The Australian fund manager who uses FBI training to see through CEO lies [H/T @iancassel] (LINK)

What's Blockchain Actually Good for, Anyway? For Now, Not Much (LINK)

Biology is Eating the World: A Manifesto (LINK)

Odd Lots Podcast: Why Taiwanese Life Insurers Are The Great ‘Whodunit’ Of The Financial World (LINK)

The Peter Attia Drive: #77 – AMA #2 with sleep expert, Matthew Walker, Ph.D. (LINK)

How to Use Occam’s Razor Without Getting Cut (LINK)

How to Be Patient in an Impatient World - by Mark Manson (LINK)

Has Humanity’s Homeland Been Found? - by Ed Yong (LINK)
A contentious new paper traces the origins of modern humans to ancient wetlands in Africa, a claim other researchers have called far-fetched.

Sunday, October 27, 2019


"A really wonderful business is very well protected against the vicissitudes of the economy over time and the competition. I mean, we’re talking about businesses that are resistant to effective competition. And three of those will be better than 100 average businesses. And they’ll be safer, incidentally. There is less risk in owning three easy-to-identify, wonderful businesses than there is in owning 50 well-known, big businesses." --Warren Buffett (1996)

Horizon Kinetics Q3 Commentary (LINK) [Audio Q3 call is also available, HERE.]

Putting the Buy-and-Hold Gospel to the Ultimate Test - by Jason Zweig ($) (LINK)

Microsoft Is the Surprise Winner of a $10B Pentagon Contract (LINK)

How much longer can the debt-burdened consumer hold up the U.S. economy? (LINK)

The Fall of WeWork: How a Startup Darling Came Unglued ($) (LINK)

Adam Neumann Is the Most Talented Grifter of Our Time - by Derek Thompson (LINK)

Acquired Podcast: The WeWork “Acquisition” (LINK)

The Acquirers Podcast: Connor Haley talks long/short microcaps (LINK)

Exponent Podcast: 176 — The Second Estate Era (LINK)

Dan Carlin's Hardcore History: 64 - Supernova in the East III (LINK)

Sequoia - Remembering Don Valentine (LINK)

Fossil trove shows life's fast recovery after big extinction [H/T Linc] (LINK)

Thursday, October 24, 2019


"I love focused management. If you read the Coca-Cola annual report, you will not get the idea that Roberto Goizueta is thinking about a whole lot of things other than Coca-Cola. And I have seen that work time after time. And when they lose that focus — as, actually, did Coke and Gillette both, at one point 20 to 30 years ago somewhat — it shows up. I mean, two great organizations were not hitting their potential 20 years ago. And then they became refocused. And what a difference it makes. It makes tens of billions of dollars’ worth of difference, in terms of market value. GEICO actually started fooling around in a number of things in the early ’80s, and they paid a price to do it. They paid a very big price. They paid a direct price, in terms of the cost of those things, because they almost all worked out badly. And then they paid an additional price in the loss of focus on the main business.... So, we like focus. We love focus." --Warren Buffett (1996)

Jeff Bezos at the International Astronautical Congress (video) (LINK)

Evolve or Die - by Ian Cassel (LINK)

Scaling Fallacy in Investing (LINK)

Ben Thompson interviews Ghost CEO John O’Nolan (LINK)

The Tim Ferriss Show (podcast): #392: Ben Horowitz (LINK)
Related book: What You Do Is Who You Are: How to Create Your Business Culture
The Meb Faber Show (podcast): #183 - Ben Inker (LINK)

Conversations with Tyler (podcast): Henry Farrell on Weaponized Interdependence, Big Tech, and Playing with Ideas (LINK)