Thursday, March 31, 2016

Value Fail: hhgregg

Retail is a very difficult business. There are no customer switching costs, there are high fixed costs and there are few barriers to entry. One look through my Value Fail page makes it evident that a number of retailers have played a key role in my losses. And yet I just haven't learned this lesson fast enough.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

The Count of Monte Cristo

Though educational, non-fiction history books can be extremely dry. One can learn a lot from something like The Black Book of Communism, but one has to stay awake first! At times, therefore, I think it makes sense to learn from historical novels. Depending on the author's talent, these can make you live in a particular time and place, rather than give you the mundane facts about it.

It's with this intention in mind that I read Alexandre Dumas' The Count of Monte Cristo, which is set after Napoleon had been ousted from France, but was making a comeback to re-take it! The book was outstanding.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Real-time SEDAR Keyword Search

I've built a tool that allows investors to search SEDAR filings in real-time for pre-set keywords. I plan to charge for this in the future, but for now you are helping me work out the kinks. In return, it's free for now. You can try it here

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

The Nurture Assumption

There is a societal assumption that parental behaviour towards children plays a huge role in how kids turn out, even as adults. In The Nurture Assumption, Judith Harris turns this assumption on its head. Unlike a lot of books on what influences children, however, this book is extremely heavy on evidence, and light on unsubstantiated statements, so not a huge surprise that the book is recommended by Charlie Munger.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Black Box Thinking

Why do some people learn from their mistakes while others don't? Matthew Syed tells us in his book Black Box Thinking.

Friday, March 4, 2016

The Design of Everyday Things

I used to think I was a complete fool. However, as I've gotten older I've come to realize that thankfully I'm not alone. I would have such difficulty with everyday products (scissors that don't cut, food products that can't be opened without scissors, shampoos that can't be opened with wet hands etc.) that I figured, what's wrong with me? Now I know that these products are actually in many cases badly designed. Don Norman's The Design of Everyday Things helped me understand that.

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