Friday, April 28, 2017
Tuesday, April 11, 2017
We spend a third of our lives sleeping, and yet we know so little about what goes on when we're under. I'm aware of countless studies that have demonstrated how important sleep is, and still I don't feel like I know enough to be getting the most out of it. It's with that in mind that I read Dreamland: Adventures in the Strange Science of Sleep.
Monday, April 10, 2017
Friday, April 7, 2017
Thursday, March 30, 2017
This Charlie Munger recommendation opened my eyes to a better model of natural selection than I've been using thus far. In The Selfish Gene, Richard Dawkins introduces natural selection at the somewhat (you'll have to read the book to understand just how "some" and "what") gene level, and he shows it to be a powerful model for understanding life.
Tuesday, March 28, 2017
Buying a stock I've previously owned is usually a lot of fun. I save time on research since I know the company already, and I get a psychological kick from knowing that I made a good decision to sell, since the price has come back down. Such was the case with STT Enviro, a repeat stock I talked about on this site about 1.5 years ago.
Labels: STT Enviro
Friday, March 17, 2017
Wouldn't it be nice to be able to explain the world's current political state of affairs using just a few maps? That's what Tim Marshall attempts to do in Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Explain Everything About the World. I enjoyed the geography and history lessons, but I thought the author's conclusions were poorly supported.
Thursday, March 9, 2017
One hundred and fifty years ago, people who considered themselves moral, upstanding Americans suffered no cognitive dissonance in the ownership of other human beings. Today the concept of slavery seems ludicrous around these parts, but it took a while to get there. In the masterful novel Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain colourfully depicts the absurd situation as it was at the time.
Monday, March 6, 2017
I have seen a lot of recommendations for The Incredible Shrinking Alpha: And What You Can Do to Escape Its Clutches so maybe my expectations were too high, because I didn't like it. To me, it sounded like the same efficient market BS that one has been able to read about for decades.
Friday, March 3, 2017
Thursday, March 2, 2017
When I bought Apple just over a year ago, I really thought it would end up being a long-term holding. A combination of 1) market pessimism - the market appeared so fixated on hardware numbers that it seemed the stock was destined to languish as hardware margins were sure to fall over time and 2) rising intrinsic value - the company's recurring revenues and share buybacks were likely to force me to continually increase my estimate of the company's value over time, resulting in an increasing margin of safety in my eyes.
Wednesday, February 22, 2017
A lot of us spend our lives delaying gratification. Often, the reward is higher later if you can forego the pleasure today. Value investors know all about this. But there is a risk that tomorrow doesn't come. When Breath Becomes Air is written by a guy who spent his whole life deferring potential rewards, only to be cursed with terminal cancer just as he was about to graduate as a surgeon.
Monday, February 20, 2017
Wednesday, February 15, 2017
Thursday, February 9, 2017
I generally avoid cyclical companies: I don't think I can time when cycles turn, so I think there's always a big risk I'll become a bagholder. But there are exceptions. When negative sentiment is so pervasive that prices of even healthy companies fall to extreme levels, I think cyclicals can be great asymmetric opportunities.
Labels: Alliance Aviation Services
Thursday, February 2, 2017
Mark Twain was not a good investor. Though he made a ton of money, he managed to lose it on some terrible investments, and went bankrupt in the process. But that doesn't mean he doesn't have any redeeming qualities we can learn from. He eventually repaid his creditors in full, even though he had no legal obligation to do so. Oh yeah, he was also an author who has been called "the father of American literature".
Thursday, January 26, 2017
Wednesday, January 25, 2017
Two years ago I wrote about a tiny company called IWG Technologies (IWG) that makes water systems for aircraft. It had a net cash position, traded at a single-digit P/E for much of that year, and had decent growth prospects. The company was just taken private at a 75% premium to its price two years ago.
Labels: IWG Technologies
Thursday, January 19, 2017
You peer through the windshield as you approach your destination. It's not far now, maybe 1 more block? Now that you're so close, do you take the first parking spot you see, or do you take the chance that maybe there'll be an open one right in front of your favourite restaurant?
Tuesday, January 10, 2017
Picture yourself as the owner of a promising business in early 20th century America. How do you finance your expansion? There are no capital markets you can tap. Your business, like pretty much every business, is too small to develop its own financing capabilities. (The transportation and communication networks we take for granted today didn't exist, making businesses much more local in nature than they are today.) Most of the money available for this sort of thing comes from Europe anyway. Who is your master in such an environment? Your banker!
Monday, January 9, 2017
Glacier Media (GVC) is a Canadian company that appears to be very cheap. Historically, the company delivers free newspapers with ultra local content, relying on local advertisers to generate revenue. As you can imagine, this is a business in serious decline, and so the company has been left for dead by investors.
Labels: Glacier Media