Friday, September 30, 2016

Stealing from Steel Partners

I own shares of Steel Partners (SPLP) at a price that makes me feel like a thief. I've followed this company for a few years, but finally got it into the portfolio as the company's discount to its assets has risen, in my opinion.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Uncontrolled, Man(zi)

Trial and error is a modus operandi in science, and has become a popular way of doing business as well. But it hasn't made enough inroads into public policy, leaving a lot of potential for societal gains untapped. In Uncontrolled: The Surprising Payoff of Trial-and-Error for Business, Politics, and Society, Manzi seeks to rectify this by discussing the challenges that the soft sciences present and how they can be somewhat overcome.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Dual-Momentum Investing

Part of what drew me to value investing were the statistical studies that showed low P/E (or EV/EBIT, take your pick) stocks have outperformed the market over basically any large time period. This makes it very clear that the inefficiencies that gurus like Buffett talk about are indeed real and in some cases rather easily exploitable. But value is not the only winner in statistical studies. Momentum seems to work too. I'm not about to abandon fundamentals and become some momo guy, but there may be some benefits to learning about what the statistical advantages are with momentum so that in overlapping cases (e.g. deciding when to sell after a value stock has run up), perhaps more profitable decisions can be made. It was with that in mind that I read Gary Antonacci's Dual Momentum Investing.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The Inevitable

It seems to me that a disproportionate number of people are pessimistic about our ability to continue to innovate towards better standards of living. This view is in contrast to what has actually happened over the last several hundred years, and since I view the causes of these innovations as unlikely to change, I don't subscribe to that view. So it was refreshing for me to read The Inevitable, which takes an optimistic view of the future and goes so far as to make some bold predictions about what it will look like.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

The Chastening

The Chastening is a book about the IMF's response to the financial crises in the mid-to-late 1990s that threatened to topple the financial systems of a number of countries.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

The Other Guy Blinked

The Other Guy Blinked is written by Pepsi USA CEO Roger Enrico about a brief period in the 1980s when Pepsi was winning the Cola wars. After a few great moves by Pepsi followed by a huge mishap by Coke, Pepsi Cola's sales where consumers had a choice (e.g. grocery stores, and not vending machines or restaurants that only sell one of them) were higher than Coke's, which prompted him to write the book.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

A Wealth of Common Sense

A Wealth of Common Sense is an investment book about simplicity. Investors can get all bogged down in the complexity of various investments, but much more important is getting the major decisions right by keeping them simple.

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