Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Success Equation

We love to explain why something happened. The problem is, our explanations often have no basis in fact. For example, when the market rises or falls, a number of explanations are offered up as to why...but how do we know they're real? When a pro-sports team wins a game, reporters chalk it up to the winning team having superior grit, intensity and desire. Are they right? How do we know?

Unfortunately, these narratives are often wrong because they gloss over an element that plays a large role in regulating outcomes in the short-term: luck. In The Success Equation, Michael Mauboussin does his best to untangle the luck from the skill, to help us improve our decision-making processes.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Investing Between The Lines

I was really looking forward to reading Investing Between The Lines. I think it's very important to try to understand management's intentions, and any book that purports to offer some insight in this regard is worth considering. Furthermore, the book was recommended by none other than Warren Buffett in his most recent shareholder letter, making it a no-brainer addition to the reading list. Was I ever disappointed.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Premier Returns...Hopefully

Should anything ever happen to me, readers of this blog wouldn't miss a beat in terms of Stock Ideas. All you would have to do is follow Whopper Investments, who independently writes about many of the same stocks I do. For the second week in a row now, we have come out with new articles about the exact same company. This week's stock: Premier Exhibitions (PRXI).

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Power Of Productivity

When a country's GDP stops growing or starts glowing more slowly, the focus is generally placed on macroeconomic policy and fiscal spending. But it's not blind GDP growth that leads to our wealth. After all, one can increase GDP by borrowing and spending on just about anything, even if it does nothing to increase wealth. (Some examples include: starting a war, building a city that sits unoccupied, digging holes in the ground and then filling them back up.)

A society's wealth, on the other hand, comes from its ability to do more with less: to find (or copy) more efficient ways to do what it is we want to do. Why is it that some countries are able to create so much more with its workers than others? In The Power of Productivity, William Lewis takes the reader through a tour of several countries, both rich and poor, and a multitude of industries to explain current wealth disparities.

Conventional wisdom

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Analyzing And Investing In Community Banks

When the stocks in your universe are no longer as undervalued as they used to be, you *could* lower your standards and keep investing. Alternatively, you could expand your universe. That's what I'm trying to do, as I dip my foot into the financials pool. Reading David Moore's book, Analyzing and Investing in Community Banks, was a helpful step in this process.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Dialed In To FTE

It has become a lot harder to find hated names on the public exchanges. As the rising tide of the market has lifted many sectors, long-term value investors are sitting on growing cash positions, lusting for the long-gone pessimism of 2009. Read more...

Monday, June 10, 2013

More Trannies For You

Great news for investors! Another source of free conference call transcripts has emerged, over at Earnings Impact. They assure me that they "will

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Subscribers: Take Note

My site's statistics tell me that several hundred of you still keep up with this site via Google Reader. Unfortunately, in less than a month, Google Reader is shutting down. If you still want access to the content on this site

Clash of the Cultures

John Bogle created the first index fund, back in 1975. As the founder of Vanguard and its CEO over a long tenure, he made a career out of making it cheaper for investors to share in the wealth generated by capitalism. Unfortunately, the mutual fund business has taken a turn for the worse in recent decades. In Clash of the Cultures, Bogle sounds off on the industry he helped make enormous, as he believes investors are getting the short end of the stick.

Monday, June 3, 2013

The Checklist Manifesto

Yeah, it's a book about checklists. Sounds ridiculous, right? Well, to me as well. But it felt like half of my Twitter feed was recommending it, so I finally got around to reading it. I'm glad I did.