Influential Reads – July 2023

Reading Time: 3 minutes

“Luck doesn’t just happen, it’s created. You can do things to increase the odds of serendipity. Meeting more people makes you lucky. Learning more skills makes you lucky. Being willing to fail makes you lucky. Offering to help others more often makes you lucky.” – Mark Manson

We are ensconced back in Utah as of a few days ago.  Amongst our travels included eight days in Colombia.  It is humbling and exhausting to not speak the language.  Regardless, our trip was amazing.  Some notes on that are forthcoming.

Finally finished Against the Gods: The Remarkable Story of Risk.  I had started reading a hard copy and then went traveling around and the book didn’t make the packing list.  What a good book?  Why did it take me this long to find this? I need to review and write up my notes.

Here are my most influential reads for the month – in no particular order:

  1. Is Cash the Best Insurance Asset? – “In other words, when cash yields a high real return it becomes the ultimate insurance instrument because it gives you a risk free inflation beating return in the short-term. And that is the ultimate form of financial certainty.”
  2. Against Cassandras: Inflation – “In essence, what we have seen in the decade between 2010 and 2020 is what you expect to see in a low interest rate environment with global financial markets and no capital restrictions. You create high-flying financial assets and persistently high valuations that look nothing like the valuations we were used to in the past.”
  3. Musings on Markets: Market Resilience or Investors In Denial? A Mid-year Assessment for 2023! – “The Fed has raised the Fed Funds rate multiple times this year, but those rate increases have clearly done nothing to slow the economy down and inflation has stabilized, not because of the Fed but in spite of it.” SMS here: A must read; so many insights in this piece.
  4. Identifying Investing’s Anti-Patterns – ” Learning how not to lose money is more important than learning how to make money.”
  5. Naval on Twitter: “How to Get Rich (without getting lucky)” – “Ignore people playing status games. They gain status by attacking people playing wealth creation games.”  SMS here:  Is this a tweet?  An X?  Maybe they’re history?
  6. How to Read: Lots of Inputs and a Strong Filter – “Similar to dating, a book you’re not into after 10 minutes of attention has little chance of a happy ending. Slam it shut and move on.”
  7. Threadzilla – ” There has never been a firm in the modern economy that’s fallen this far, this fast that has not been accused of fraud.”
  8. How Fortunes Are Made: Revisiting From Predators to Icons – “Instead, they argued, great fortunes arise from a set of favorable initial conditions (perhaps today they would use the term ‘privilege’) in combination with Strategic Intuition, the ability to recognize and take advantage of extraordinary opportunities that lead to an “intense accumulation of capital.””
  9. Dynamic MTB Fit – “A RideLogic dynamic MTB fit focuses on out-of-the saddle handing. We position your bars relative to your feet. This is critical for technical/expressive riding. Independently, we position the saddle relative to your feet. The saddle-to-bar relationship is incidental.”
  10. Crest and Oral-B have a new way to get rid of your old toothbrushes and dental products – “All you have to do is pack up a box with your used oral care products, print the free label, and ship it out to the recycling facility. “

Note: This is based on when I read the article, not necessarily when it was first published.  Unfortunately, my backlog of things I would like to read always seems to dwarf the amount of time I can devote to reading.

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