Category Archives: Deep Thoughts

Influential Reads – April 2022

Reading Time: 2 minutes

“Humility is the voice inside your head that says, ‘anyone can do it once, that’s luck. Can you do it consistently?’” – Farnam Street

Apologies for being a bit quiet.  In addition to a busy work period and decamping Utah and driving cross country to Florida, we seem to be in a period of time with particularly wide error bars.  So, wait and see looks like a pretty good approach to me.  I am extremely curious as to where the world is in six months.

On the reading front, I finally finished Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr.  And have been attempting to clear out the always present backlog of saved articles.  More on how that works here.

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

  1. No News Is Good News – ” Personally, I vote for going cold turkey and simply walking away from the whole idea of news and the illusion of staying informed.”
  2. Take that two and a half percent and run – ” I would buy the hell out of the two-year at 2.5% but not the ten-year at the equivalent yield. “
  3. Paradoxes of Life – “The most persuasive people don’t argue—they observe, listen, and ask questions.”
  4. Bonds to Buy After an ‘Epic Rout.’ – “The iShares 20+ Year Bond exchange-traded fund (ticker: TLT), which holds long-term Treasuries, is down 14% this year, against a 5% drop in the S&P 500  index. Municipal bond closed-end funds are off 15%.”
  5. The Importance of Slugging Percentage in Investing – “But what matters more is how much money those winners make compared to how much the losers lose.”
  6. A Q&A With Mary Meeker: How Tech-Trend Guru Sees the World Now – “What macro issues worry you? It’s a long list.”
  7. Is U.S. Booming or Busting? It Depends on the Data You Examine. – “Trucking activity has plunged 50% in the past 10 weeks on flat unit retail sales and already excessive inventories, according to a research note. “
  8. There Will Be No Soft Landing. Why a Recession Is Inevitable. – “The debate over where the economy is going should be recast. A soft landing at this point is wishful thinking. “
  9. What Does the Bond Market Rout Mean for the Stock Market? – “The speed and magnitude of the bond market correction is something investors simply haven’t had to deal especially at the same time stocks are in correction territory.”
  10. Back to the Future of Twitter – “First, Twitter’s current fully integrated model is a financial failure.”

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.

Top clicks across the site last month:

  1. Financial Model vs. Operating Model
  2. Email: Don’t Get Fired
  3. EBITDA Is Not A Good Proxy For Cash Flow
  4. Excel Tips: Football Field Chart
  5. Operating Model Tips

Updated stats:

Read ArticlesBooks
January891
February1100
March1023
April1032
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December
Total4046

Influential Reads – March 2022

Reading Time: 2 minutes

“Investing a little time where others don’t doubles your impact..” – Farnam Street

I am still working my way through Titan, the John D. Rockefeller, Sr. biography.  But I did tick through a couple works of fiction, Dog Stars and The Guide, both by Peter Heller as well as Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer.  They were interesting enough, but not anything I would highly recommend.  However, it did put some books on the board and helped with some consistency in my daily reading.

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

  1. Russia in Ukraine: Let Loose the Dogs of War! – “Put simply, assuming that crises will always end well, and that markets will inevitably bounce back, just because that is what you have observed in your lifetime, can be dangerous.”
  2. What Bond Investors Should Do as Interest Rates March Higher – “So, he argues, the yield curve’s recession signal is distorted.”
  3. Has The Demise Of The Growthsters Been Greatly Exaggerated? – “Anyone who thinks that either 18% or 25% per year returns in a 2% inflation environment (ahhh, those were the days!) is normal or sustainable, simply hasn’t studied market history.”
  4. Spam as a Service – “As for the valuations being assigned to all these companies, and the expectations of their investors – I would be terrified.”
  5. Signs of stress deepen in the office real estate market – “hose numbers likely overstate how much of that office space is actually being used. Recent data from Kastle Systems, which measure occupancy by looking at foot traffic into offices, showed vacancies of about 60% in major markets.”
  6. Inside the bubble – “And people outside the bubble are supposed to feel left behind, because that’s part of the fuel of life inside the bubble.”
  7. 5 Ways to Simplify Your Life – “My favorite way of going through my day is to do every activity in fullscreen mode.”
  8. Dr. Andrew Huberman: The Science of Small Changes – “Forget trying to get people to change, it does not work. It works with children, it does not work with adults unless it’s self-directed plasticity.”
  9. Is Renting Better Than Buying? We Think So. – “You’re actually better off renting and investing the savings. It’s just too expensive to buy a house.”
  10. Tough Guys – “Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.”

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.

Top clicks across the site last month:

  1. Financial Model vs. Operating Model
  2. Influential Reads – February 2022
  3. EBITDA Is Not A Good Proxy For Cash Flow
  4. Ski Gear Thought Experiment
  5. Operating Model Tips

Updated stats:

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February1100
March1023
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Total3014

Three Take-Aways: Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World

Reading Time: 2 minutes

“Compare yourself to yourself yesterday, not to younger people who aren’t you.  Everyone progresses at a different rate, so don’t let anyone else make you feel behind.”  – Range (pp. 290)

This book was talking my book, and since I agreed with most of what was being said, I liked it. There were some interesting sections on teaching and learning, sports and athletics, and career trajectory.  

The sports one hits pretty close to home right now since our daughter is nine.  It seems like kids are being required to pick a sport very early these days.  I was glad to see some research suggesting that’s really not a good idea to specialize early.  By the way, I sat next to a three time Olympian on the chairlift the other day, and she told me the same thing.

The book also had a lot of overlap with a couple of my other recent reads – Superforecasting and Principles.  It even referenced Young Men and Fire (pp. 245) – a book by Norman Maclean (of A River Runs Through It fame) which has stuck with me since I read it a few years ago.

Three take-aways from the book:

  1. Learning Should Be Hard

“Desirable difficulties like making connections and interleaving make knowledge flexible, useful for problems that never appeared in training.” (pp. 96)

“All forces align to incentivize a head start and early, narrow specialization, even if that is a poor long-term strategy.” (pp. 119)

If learning is easy, then you are probably doing it wrong.  Or learning in a way that will help you utilize that knowledge in the future.  Learning should be somewhat difficult.  Early wins might be a bad sign.  

  1. It’s Not People vs. Computers, It is People + Computers

“But the centaur lesson remains:  the more a task shifts to an open world of big picture strategy, the more humans have to add.” (pp. 29)

“Our greatest strength is the exact opposite of narrow specialization.  It is the ability to integrate broadly.”

As the world becomes more digital, you should think about where people spend their time and where computers spend their time.  Each is a tool.  And like every tool, it has its strengths and weaknesses.  This felt extremely applicable to both individual careers choices as well as managing people, processes, and companies.

  1.  Identify & Solve Problems

“Like Kranz, Von Braun went looking for problems, hunches, and bad news.  He even rewarded those who exposed problems.” (pp. 259)

“…successful problem solvers are more able to determine the deep structure of a problem before they proceed to match a strategy to it.” (pp. 115)

This one had a lot of overlap to Principles.  Solving problems is one of my best strengths or at least that is what I tell people in interviews.  And it seems like a good area to focus on going forward, as it is a place where people add a lot of value vs. automation.  In order to creatively solve problems, you need broad perspective.  

A few other recent book reviews:

  1. Principles
  2. That Wild Country
  3. Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction
  4. Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less
  5. Fortune’s Formula

Influential Reads – February 2022

Reading Time: 2 minutes

“One of the most practical life skills that no one talks about is turning discipline into consistency. Discipline will only take you so far. It’s hard to be consistently disciplined.” – Farnam Street

The impact of recent world events can be seen in my article count for February.  My hope is that something good eventually comes out of the situation in Ukraine – regardless of the near term results of the conflict. 

A united world is better than a divided world.  

Watching Putin’s 20+ year reign is the definition of slippery slope.  Hopefully that translates into other arenas.  

Watching an embattled Ukraine fight for their freedom is heart wrenching.  Hopefully people can connect the dots.  Like connect them to recent events in this country, when an armed group of insurgents stormed our Capitol building while full of our government leaders.  

Colbert is right.  

But I digress.  I am also reading books.  I am just not finishing reading books.  Enjoying a biography on John D. Rockefeller, Sr. – but it is long.  It does seem that history rhymes though.

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

  1. Wretched Excess…Flirting With Trouble – “Charlie also talks a lot about envy and how it drives people which was my favorite part.”
  2. Addition by Subtraction – “You size your positions based on how much risk you’re taking. I don’t buy more of the ones I can make the most money on. I buy more of the ones that I can’t lose money on.”
  3. Down Round – ” But private markets inevitably come in line, and just like the tail of a whip, the smaller market can deliver greater pain.”
  4. Is the Bond Bear Market Over? – “But with the market pricing in 7 rate hikes and inflation showing signs of topping it’s worth asking if the worst is behind us? “
  5. Forget About Inflation. Contrarians Expect a Recession and a Drop in Bond Yields – “Shilling expects the tightening on which the Federal Reserve is about to embark having the same impact that tighter policy has had in almost every other previous instance.”
  6. Putting Ideas into Words – “Putting ideas into words is a severe test.”
  7. If You Had $10k to Invest, Which Stock Would You Buy? – “The rapid halving of software multiples has disjointed the valuations between public and private companies, and between growth and value companies.”
  8. How To Negotiate Your Salary – ” You don’t owe it to your employer to get paid less than what you are worth.”
  9. The Professionalization of Startups – “Whatever you’re going to spend on sales, just put it into the product to make the product better. Anytime a customer needs to talk to a sales person, that’s a bug you have to go fix.”
  10. How I Approach the Toughest Decisions – “But Joe’s willingness to go against the grain and ask tough questions was invaluable”

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.

Top clicks across the site last month:

  1. Financial Model vs. Operating Model
  2. EBITDA Is Not A Good Proxy For Cash Flow
  3. Influential Reads – January 2022
  4. Excel Template: Football Field Chart
  5. Family Mission: Solamere Loop Trail

Updated stats:

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January891
February1100
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Total1991

Influential Reads – January 2022

Reading Time: 3 minutes

January 2022

“You can’t replace reading with other sources of information like videos, because you need to read in order to write well, and you need to write in order to think well.” — Paul Graham

I am going to claim one book read in January, Range by David Epstein.  A more accurate portrayal would be that I read it in many months, but completed it in January.  I will post some notes at some point.

Goodreads is already telling me I am behind schedule:

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

  1. Let The Wild Rumpus Begin – “Today in the U.S. we are in the fourth superbubble of the last hundred years.”
  2. Tech questions for 2022 – “Most of the questions I’ve discussed so far are about the future of tech, but a central theme in the trends presentation I published last month was all the ways that industries much bigger than tech are being disrupted now by things that tech was excited about 10, 15 or 20 years ago. “
  3. Who Will Buy the Bonds? – “The point is, unless you believe hyperinflation is coming, there is no logical reason to question whether people will want to hold US government denominated liabilities. The more interesting question is, what is a sustainable rate of interest for the USD?”
  4. The control/responsibility matrix – “People who grab control and avoid responsibility are often easily identified because they spend a lot of time whining.” – Head of Sales:  “If marketing would only give me more SALs, I would sell more.”  SMS Inside Thought: “ Yeah, and if somebody would do my job for me, that would be cool too.”
  5. Harvard-trained economist shares his 21 money rules – “Choose jobs that everyone but you hates. All else being equal — skills, education and experience — people with unpleasant, nerve-racking, insecure, disturbing or financially risky jobs get paid more than people with the same skills working jobs with none of these drawbacks.”
  6. Effort toward quality – “Persistent quality problems are a systemic issue, and if you’re not working on your system, you’re not going to improve it.”
  7. The antidote to “just be positive” – “What I’m saying is that mental flexibility is much more valuable than unquestioned positivity.”
  8. The Fed Is Ignoring the Money Supply and Letting Inflation Rip – “Just like Arthur Burns, the current Fed leadership is ignoring the sharp increase in the money supply during the past two years and instead is blaming external factors. As a result, inflation is again soaring. History is repeating itself.”
  9. A Quick Guide to Planning Your Year – “Every year, I take a few days and give myself some reflective space.”
  10. Stock Market History, Illuminated – “And since 2009 it has been incredible. One down year, 12 up years. The lone down year was low single digits, while the 12 up years were high-teens. Makes me wonder if anyone under 30 – through no fault of their own – thinks that this is the way markets always work.”

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.

Top clicks across the site last month:

  1. Financial Model vs. Operating Model
  2. Influential Reads – December 2020
  3. Operating Model Tips
  4. EBITDA Is Not A Good Proxy For Cash Flow
  5. Book Report: High Output Management– Great Read! Highly recommended.

Updated stats:

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January891
February
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Total891

Three Take-Aways: Principles

Reading Time: 2 minutes

“Remember that everyone has opinions and they are often bad.”  – Principles (pp. 375)

The second time is a charm.

I tried to read this book, Principles by Ray Dalio, back in 2019 and failed.  Unsure why.  It might have been a little too deep or hit a little too close to home.  I also happened to be buried neck deep in work.

However, the second attempt was much more enjoyable and successful.  There are some really interesting personal and organizational concepts presented throughout the book. 

This is one of those books that you should flip through at least once a year.  It’s up there with the Hard Things About Hard Things and High Output Management.

Three take-aways from the book:

  1. Go Slow & Creatively Look For Options

“There is almost always a good path that you just haven’t discovered yet, so look for it until you find it rather than settle for the choice that is apparent to you.” (pp. 38)

“I felt about this fork-in-the-road choice the way I felt about most others – that whether or not we could have our cake and eat it too was merely a test of our creativity and character.” (pp. 72)

“And it reminded me that when faced with the choice between two things you need that are seemingly at odds, go slowly to figure out how you can have as much of both as possible.”  (pp. 63).

Sometimes I tend to react fast.  Or make fast decisions.  Or jump to the outcome that I think is most likely.  Or just, in general, want to come up with solutions quickly.

     This is a good reminder to go slow.  Get creative.  Look for options.

  1. Figure Out Where You Are Rather Than Try To Forecast The Future

“In other words, rather than forecasting changes in the economic environment and shifting positions in anticipation of them, we pick up these changes as they’re occurring and move our money around to keep in those markets which perform best in that environment.” (pp. 42)

This made so much sense to me.  I know enough about forecasting to know that you really should not base much of your income on your ability to forecast market movements.  But really understanding where you are in the market cycle and continuing to adjust to new developments really makes a lot of sense.  Easier said than done.

  1.  Identify & Solve Problems

“Most people would rather celebrate all the things that are going well while sweeping problems under the rug.  Those people have their priorities exactly backward, and there is little that can be harmful to an organization.” (pp. 473)

I love to solve problems.  Which is good, because as an executive in a small company, I seem to be faced with a constant stream of them.  The philosophy that problem identification should be rewarded vs. punished is important in a company.  And problems should be made visible, so they can be solved.  Each problem solved makes you that much better.

P.S. I would like to take the personality test at some point.

A few other recent book reviews:

  1. That Wild Country
  2. Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction
  3. Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less
  4. Fortune’s Formula
  5. The Hard Thing About Hard Things

Influential Reads – December 2021

Reading Time: 2 minutes

“The roads not seen almost always matter more than the potholes we hit along the way.” – Seth’s Blog

Another relatively low volume reading month. I did try to clean out my article “Read Me” folder a bit and you see that reflected in my article count.  Book reading was a different matter.  I need to figure something else out there.

Focusing on a few positives (possibly a New Year’s goal).  I had a goal of increasing my writing & posting and posted 45 new updates to the site in 2021.  For those of you who know how many weeks are in a year, you will notice that it was not quite weekly but much better than my prior cadence.  Ignoring the fact that I am pretty sure 98% of my site traffic is North Korean bots, overall site traffic was up 76% over 2020.  Thank you, dear North Korean bot, for reading…

And by the way, Happy New Year!

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

  1. Nervous Breakdowns Can Be Good – “This got me thinking that maybe we need to bring back the nervous breakdown, to protect the nation’s collective reserve of nerve force at a time when it’s stretched so thin. What would the modern version of a culturally accepted, nervous-breakdown-precipitated time-out look like?”
  2. Credit-Driven Asset Price Inflation – “Consumers simply have more borrowing power now when it comes to homes than they have on record in this data series”
  3. The 43rd Lesson – ” The law of karma puts a person at the centre of responsibility for everything he or she does and everything that is done to him or her.”
  4. Where Are Workers Going? Long Covid Prevents Millions From Returning to Work“Doing some back-of-the-envelope math, that’s 4.6 million people. “
  5. You Have Not Missed It – “Thus, I think we are out of the 2-percent-as-the-center-of-the-distribution era, and into an era where the middle is more like 3%.”
  6. Slow Holidays – “If we want space, we have to create it intentionally.”
  7. Why Small Habits Make a Big Difference – “Habits and mental disciplines are controllable, offer enormous opportunity for returns, have extremely low risk, and you can use them for the rest of your life.”
  8. Dave Barry’s 2021 Year in Review – “Because nobody knows what 2022 will bring. Will it suck as much as this year? Will it suck more? Or will it suck a LOT more? These appear to be our choices.”
  9. Getting ahead vs. having enough – “You don’t have to participate in a game that will constantly pit you against the competition (i.e., everyone else in the world). You can opt for simple satisfaction instead. “
  10. How Writing Daily Wins Can Help Rewire Your Brain for Confidence and Energy – “Our brain has a negative bent, often referred to as negativity bias.” SMS: I thought it was just me.

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.

Top clicks across the site last month:

  1. Financial Model vs. Operating Model
  2. Influential Reads – November 2021
  3. Three Key Take Aways: That Wild Country
  4. Excel Template: Football Field Chart
  5. EBITDA Is Not A Good Proxy For Cash Flow

Updated stats:

Read ArticlesBooks
January654
February491
March643
April532
May970
June542
July1061
August1032
September1192
October911
November800
December1050
Total98618

Three Take-Aways: That Wild Country

Reading Time: 3 minutes

I really enjoyed this book.  And learned quite a bit about public lands in the United States.  The format tends to be one section on the history of public lands, followed by the author in that setting in the present.

We have spent a lot of time, since moving out West, in national parks, national forests, national monuments, and BLM land.  This book helped me understand the various types of public lands, the history behind many of them, and some of the current issues facing public land management.

A result is that I tend to take a little bit more patient approach with others in public land settings.  For example, I am a bit more patient with crowds at national parks, since that ensures those places will remain that way (and maybe be expanded).  However, I still believe owners of off-leash dogs who interfere with my Strava PR’s on our local trails to be communists (maybe kidding).

Three take-aways from the book:

  1. Public Lands

“Unbeknownst to many, American citizens are collective co-owners of an incredible swath of land across the country.  Approximately 640 million acres of it.  That’s roughly 28 percent of the total United States landmass (an area larger than Alaska, Texas, and New York combined).”

Growing up and residing primarily on the East Coast, I just didn’t appreciate the scale of Federal public lands nor the various types.  Having lived out West here for a bit, I understand all that a little better and can appreciate some of the issues.

  1. Land Transfer Movement

“I’d learned over the preceding months that this idea, the disposal of public lands, had been proposed many times over the previous hundred years by a rotating cast of industrial-age robber-baron businessmen, lobbyists, and powerful politicians.  The stale argument had been resurrected again for the twenty-first century, but this time it was supported by both radicals like Bundy and mainstream politicians.”

Land transfer proposals generally seem to shift land use in favor of one demographic or land user, typically “extractive industries (oil & gas, mining, logging, etc.)” vs. a more balanced approach across different types of users that are mandated under Federal stewardship.

“I explained how, if managed the right way, these landscapes could be shared and enjoyed by all sorts of people.  Many of the nation’s national forests and refuges and BLM lands are multi-use – with hikers and hunters, fishermen and backpackers, horse riders and rock climbers all coexisting in the same space.  In many cases, recreational uses coexist with commodity uses too.  Loggers and bird-watches often use the same forests.  Hikers and ranchers might enjoy and utilize the same desert spread.”

  1. State vs. Federal Land Ownership

“Public land management by states can be very different than that by the Federal government.  As I learned over the course of my journey, the US Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management (the governing agencies for the public lands most discussed for transfer) are both mandated by law to manage their lands with multiple-use and sustained-yield principles, as well as strong conservation and recreation goals.  In most cases, state lands are managed differently.  Many states have laws that require them to manage their land holdings for maximum profit or solely in support of specific beneficiaries, such as public schools.  On top of that, many states allow more relaxed environmental regulations on their lands, making it easier for rampant resource extraction to occur.”

In general, I think I would spend some time scrutinizing the true motivations of anyone lobbying for Federal lands to be transferred out of Federal custody.  I am not sure they are radical, I think they are mostly likely just selfish.

P.S. I really like this shirt.

A few other recent book reviews:

  1. Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction
  2. Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less
  3. Fortune’s Formula
  4. The Hard Thing About Hard Things
  5. The Conscious Parent

Influential Reads – November 2021

Reading Time: 2 minutes

“Writing is often the process by which you realize that you do not understand what you are talking about.” – Farnam Street

My reading and writing was lacking this month.  But that is just where I was.

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

  1. The Man Who Called Bullshit on Uber – ” Companies that move people and things make money by closely controlling their workers and physical assets.”
  2. Are the New ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ Services Good? – “If you’re not sure who’s funding the bottom line, Lowry told me, it’s probably you, in one way or another.”
  3. How Mormons Became American – “Mormons didn’t become avatars of a Norman Rockwellian ideal by accident. We taught ourselves to play the part over a centuries-long audition for full acceptance into American life. That we finally succeeded just as the country was on the brink of an identity crisis is one of the core ironies of modern Mormonism.”
  4. The Winds of Change – “In other words, in this extreme example, a U.S. president can be elected with just 47.0 million votes (22.0% of the total) versus 166.9 million for his or her opponent.”
  5. The CEO of you – “Big company CEOs get paid ridiculous amounts of money, but the good ones also do something that most of us avoid.  They make decisions.”
  6. Inflated – “And this ability to raise prices faster than inflation is really impressive given the industry is one of the most heavily subsidised in the U.S.”
  7. The Great Salt Lake Is Desolate. It’s Also Divine. – ” More disturbing is the destination of some of that water: my house. “
  8. Reset – “But some of it will flood the bank and brokerage accounts of the sort of people who are collecting jpegs of crudely drawn rocks and apes and other useless bullshit. I know, I don’t get it, blah blah blah. “
  9. Shortages are Unmeasured Inflation – “In the meantime, just remember that with inflation over 5% presently and shortly headed above 6%…the inflation rate is understated, and we know that because there are lots of shortages.”
  10. Johnny and Angel Collinson: Skiing comeback – “If somebody wants to explore their potential, whether it’s in sport or otherwise, that means they are going to walk into uncharted territory,” says Dr Gervais

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.

Top clicks across the site last month:

  1. Financial Model vs. Operating Model
  2. Influential Reads – October 2021
  3. I Didn’t Approve That
  4. Rules of The Game
  5. EBITDA Is Not A Good Proxy For Cash Flow

Updated stats through November:

Read ArticlesBooks
January654
February491
March643
April532
May970
June542
July1061
August1032
September1192
October911
November800
December
Total88118

Influential Reads – October 2021

Reading Time: 2 minutes

October 2021

“There is a meaningful opportunity in the dispersion of HQ, education, and healthcare.”  – No Mercy, No Malice

Finished the book, That Wild Country, by Mark Kenyon.  Enjoyed learning about the history of U.S. public lands.  More on that to come…I am a bit behind in my writing.

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

  1. This Market Makes No Sense – “The only thing I know for sure is there is a lot of money sloshing around in just about everything these days — stocks, bonds, savings accounts, start-ups, crypto, NFTs, collectibles and housing — and that makes this a difficult market to analyze.”
  2. I Collect Cashflows – “I like to collect the cashflows of the best businesses in the world. I pile them up high in my accounts, adding to them when values fall, automatically buying more when dividends and distributions are paid out.”
  3. Foreign Stocks’ Lost Decade – “Across the board, U.S. companies outperformed their overseas counterparts in every sector.”
  4. David Tepper shuns stock market – “Sometimes there’s times to make money…sometimes there’s times not to lose money.”  SMS: I ran into David Tepper in the hallway of my business school once. Tepper had just made a large donation and the school was being renamed and they were holding a celebration at our Friday Beers.  I had a buddy visiting from NYC who had just turned down a job with Appaloosa and had said on the way there, “I hope I don’t run into David Tepper”. And first thing, we ran into him.  I had a mortified look on my face and David Tepper made some off hand remark about that, that I am sure he doesn’t recall at all.  When I started to write that, I felt that would be a better story than it turned out to be.  Longer too.
  5. Understanding the Monty Hall Problem – “Here’s the general idea: The more you know, the better your decision.”
  6. Colin Powell’s 13 rules for how to lead – “It ain’t as bad as you think. It will look better in the morning. Leaving the office at night with a winning attitude affects more than you alone; it also conveys that attitude to your followers.”
  7. A Pastor Embraces Slowness – “She forwarded all work calls to voicemail and put in place a rule saying she must wait 24 hours before replying to any message that either made her upset or elated.” SMS: Great rule.  I wish Outlook would let me put more than a two hour delay on my emails.
  8. Carcinogens – “Measurements of the impact are all over the map, but we know fraud is pervasive. By one estimate, 88% of digital ad clicks are fake.” SMS: Makes me feel even less good about my company’s digital advertising spend.
  9. Why You Should Stop Reading News – “To be completely cured of newspapers, spend a year reading the previous week’s newspapers.” SMS: Yes, yes, I know.
  10. How the Bobos Broke America () – “A third rebellion is led by people who are doing well financially but who feel culturally humiliated—the boubour rebellion.”

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.

Top clicks across the site last month:

  1. Financial Model vs. Operating Model
  2. Family Adventure: Solarmere Loop Trail
  3. EBITDA Is Not A Good Proxy For Cash Flow
  4. Operating Model Tips
  5. Excel Template: Football Field Chart

Updated stats through October:

Read ArticlesBooks
January654
February491
March643
April532
May970
June542
July1061
August1032
September1192
October911
November
December
Total80118