Wednesday, November 8, 2017

The Permanent Portfolio

You'd like to invest for the long-term, but you can't take the stomach churns that result from being fully invested in the stock market, no matter how rewarding the returns can be over long periods. The Permanent Portfolio: Harry Browne's Long-Term Investment Strategy is aimed at you. The authors have compiled a strategy that they believe generates decent returns in most economic periods - at the very least, it will lower your portfolio's volatility, even if you have to sacrifice returns in the process.

Friday, November 3, 2017

The Four Hour Chef

I generally select books by either their topics or because they come highly recommended; I rarely seek out books by a certain author. Tim Ferriss is an exception. I was enormously influenced by two of his books, so I decided to read The 4-Hour Chef: The Simple Path to Cooking Like a Pro, Learning Anything, and Living the Good Life, even though I have little interest right now in growing my culinary skills (but maybe someday!).

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

The Art of Learning

Do you remember the movie Searching For Bobby Fischer? It's about a child prodigy named Josh Waitzkin, who dominated chess matches from a tender young age. Well, he is the author of this book I just read, The Art of Learning: An Inner Journey to Optimal Performance.

You can't be blamed for thinking "What can an extremely talented guy teach me about learning? Things probably just come to him really easily." I don't think it's as simple as that, for two main reasons.

First, I doubt you can rise to the top of a field like chess without learning your way to the top. You have to study your own games, and those of other players, if you're going to adapt and grow as a player. If you don't, you're just reinventing the wheel as you play, and therefore will be passed by those who are learning.

Second, and perhaps more convincingly, Waitzkin has managed to become a top player in not just chess, but also in the martial arts. He is no one-trick pony, and so I would submit that his skill may not be some intangible talent but rather his ability to learn.

If you've read other books on learning, a lot of the material will be familiar to you. But Waitzkin puts his personal spin on all of it, applying it to examples in his own life where he has employed these methods and how they turned out for him. In some respects, the book felt like it was more about him than it was about learning. The material doesn't feel as generalized as in other books about learning, because Waitzkin applies everything very specifically to his experiences in chess and martial arts.

For anyone interested in learning how to learn more efficiently, I highly recommend the book.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

NAHL Group

People call National Accident Helpline after an accident because they have consumer brand appeal. NAHL Group (LSE: NAH) answers the call and diverts it to a lawyer that can help. They used to make money off referral fees, but in 2014 regulatory changes stopped that. Now they make money from subscription fees from law firms to whom they send clients, but again regulatory changes are causing them to have to shift models.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Things Fall Apart

You're just living your life as you do, as did your parents before you and their parents before them. But some new people make contact...people who look so different and yet also seem human. In Things Fall Apart, Achebe tells a story of how things may have gone following European landings near villages in Africa hundreds of years ago.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Karsan Value Funds: 2017 Q3 Results

Karsan Value Funds (KVF) is a value-oriented fund, as described here. Due to securities regulations, the fund is not open to the public at this time. Should that change in the future, there will be an announcement on this site.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Alliance Aviates Well

Just seven months ago, I opined on Alliance Aviation as a potential value play. Today the price sits more than 50% higher. I can't explain the dramatic price rise. The price was just plain silly back then, and serves as a reminder of just how weak the Efficient Market Hypothesis really is.

Follow by Email