Tag Archives: Influential Reads

Influential Reads – November 2022

Reading Time: 2 minutes

“Nothing gets people to look the other way like easy money.” – Does Not Compute, Collaborative Fund

I am very tired of seeing articles about FTX and SBF.

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

  1. Getting Wealthy vs. Staying Wealthy – “But there’s only one way to stay wealthy: some combination of frugality and paranoia.”
  2. That Sound You Hear Is the Fed Breaking Something – “As I have stated before, the Fed will keep hiking until something breaks, and clearly the cracks are forming.”
  3. Borrowing Surge Makes Quick End to Rate Hikes Unlikely – “Even as money growth is stalling, Joseph Carson, former chief economist at AllianceBernstein, points out that bank credit growth is booming. “
  4. The Munger Operating System: A Life That Works – “You want to deliver to the world what you would buy if you were on the other end.”
  5. Inflation Tends to Linger. Could It Last a Decade This Time? – “Given that U.S. inflation has run above 6% for the past year and over 8% for the seven months through September (before dipping to 7.8% in October), history indicates that the median time it will take before inflation eases below 3% is 10 years. “
  6. Here’s How Quitting Can be Your Competitive Advantage – “Imagine it’s a year from now and you stayed in your current position. What are the chances that you’re happy?”
  7. Papa Doble. Hemingway Revisited. – “The toolbox for achieving great financial outcomes has changed quickly, as have the accompanying implications of these higher, risk-free, short-term rates.”
  8. The Pandemic Housing Bubble is bursting—U.S. home prices falling 15% looks ‘conservative’ – “That Pandemic Housing Boom coincided with a staggering 42% jump in U.S. home prices between March 2020 and June 2022. At least 60% of that appreciation, researchers at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco estimate, can be attributed to the elevated demand for “space” that occurred during the pandemic.”
  9. Committed & Unattached: A Powerful Way to Work – “But while you’re committed to making it happen, you are unattached to the outcome.”
  10. Higher Interest Rates Alone Won’t Fix the Inflation Problem – “The problem is that the longer the Fed’s balance sheet stays elevated, the more likely it is that QE becomes irreversible.”

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. Excel Tips: Football Field Chart
  3. EBITDA Is Not A Good Proxy For Cash Flow
  4. Influential Reads – October
  5. Operating Model Tips

Updated stats:

Read ArticlesBooks
January891
February1100
March1023
April1032
May1343
June740
July822
August1127
September724
October614
November815
December
Total1,02031

Influential Reads – October 2022

Reading Time: 3 minutes

“If you stick to a path that is no longer worth pursuing, whether it’s a relationship that isn’t going well, or a stock that you’re invested in that’s losing money, or an employee that you’ve hired who isn’t performing, that is when you lose ground.” – Brain Food, Farnam Street

I have some thoughts here, but have not had the time to put them into writing.  So I am not sure if they are good thoughts or not.  

I continue to feel the risks here are massive and still mostly hidden, and there is a good chance of getting squished.  Which I would prefer not to have happen.  Squishing mechanisms include but are not limited to U.S. treasury market illiquidity, imbalances created by the currency market / massive USD strength, and real estate market trend changes.

Midterm elections will be interesting.  But I cannot watch.  There seems to be a faction of people that are “bat shit” crazy.  And there is not a rational middle ground between “bat shit” crazy and not “bat shit crazy”.  So, we should just stop trying.  But tolerating “bat shit” crazy is not a good option.

And, I think you have witnessed peak Zuckerberg and Musk, but for slightly different reasons.  Do you want to be bold and call peak Private Equity while we are at it?

Continuing to notch some “easy” reads:

And that got me to my objective:

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

  1. Rare Skills – “People don’t like leaving opportunities on the table, and it’s counterintuitive to realize that you’ll likely end up with more than those whose appetite for more is insatiable.”
  2. Brief amicus curiae of The Onion filed – “Rising from its humble beginnings as a print newspaper in 1756, The Onion now enjoys a daily readership of 4.3 trillion and has grown into the single most powerful and influential organization in human history.” SMS: Not a follower of the Onion, but this is some inspirational writing.
  3. August JOLTS report: the game of reverse musical chairs in the jobs market is ending – “This is simply more confirmation that consumption leads employment, and we should expect monthly jobs numbers to decelerate further, and go to virtually zero m/m by early next year.”
  4. Harvard predicts looming markdowns to private assets – ” Private funds, however, have not been adjusted to reflect new market conditions, and many have gained in value through to the end of mid-year — a disconnect Harvard predicts will hit portfolios later.”
  5. What to Buy? Bonds. When? Now. – “Looking at the latter half of the 1970s, however, rates increased from 5% to 10%, yet bonds kept making money.”
  6. Summary of My Post-CPI Tweets – “It’s a mistake, the same one people are making in rents & home prices. Rates of change could mean-revert. Prices will not. Prices are permanently higher, b/c the amount of money in the system is permanently higher. This chart shows the price level. Not going back to the old days.”
  7. E-Bikes Need Their Own Classification System on Public Land – “Rapidly increasing E-mountain bike (eMTB) use on non-motorized trails is increasing these conflicts and impacts.”  SMS: Explain to me how a eMTB is not a motorized vehicle?  Is a Tesla not motorized?
  8. You weren’t supposed to see that – “In total, the Federal government created $4.3 trillion in direct economic stimulus of which $3.95 trillion was dropped onto the economy, as if by helicopter, in a period of under 18 months.”
  9. 3 Reasons International Investing Hasn’t Paid Off – “…the U.S. dollar has recently enjoyed its strongest run in 20 years.”
  10. The bond market massacre of September 2022 – “The fear is that as central banks end the long period in which they systematically supported bond markets, deep cracks will be exposed. “

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. That’s a bunch of…
  3. Influential Reads – September
  4. EBITDA Is Not A Good Proxy For Cash Flow
  5. Excel Tips: Football Field Chart

Updated stats:

Read ArticlesBooks
January891
February1100
March1023
April1032
May1343
June740
July822
August1127
September724
October614
November
December
Total93926

Influential Reads – September 2022

Reading Time: 3 minutes

“When you are a Bear of Very Little Brain, and you Think of Things, you find sometimes that a Thing which seemed very Thingish inside you is quite different when it gets out into the open and has other people looking at it.” ― The House at Pooh Corner by A.A Milne” 

Writers that can consistently and frequently write new and interesting pieces always impress me.  I am pretty thrilled if I have what I consider to be one new and unique thought a month.  Then have the luck to capture that fleeting moment down in writing. And, that generally turns into the Winnie the Pooh moment described above. 

That previous paragraph may be an awkward way of explaining why I have been fairly quiet these days, on top of just being busy at work.

For similar reasons, reading was a bit off this month – although I did notch some easy reads.

Correct, I am a touch out of order on the Travis Mcgee series, but that does not seem to matter too much.

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

  1. You’re not good at this. – “Zero percent interest rates plus fiscal and monetary stimulus with housing up 40% and stocks at an all-time high was a ridiculous policy.”
  2. Entering the Superbubble’s Final Act – “The current superbubble features the most dangerous mix of these factors in modern times: all three major asset classes – housing, stocks, and bonds – were critically historically overvalued at the end of last year.”
  3. A Housing Bubble and Kim Kardashian: More Troubling News for Markets – “Pumped up by Federal Reserve expansionary policies, the public’s wealth in equities and residential real estate has ballooned, relative to the economy, even faster and more furiously than during the housing bubble of the 2000s and the dot-com daffiness of the 1990s.”
  4. Three Things I Think I Think – It’s Breaking – “At 7% the math is totally broken. “
  5. Grim (equity) tidings – “A Fed paper says tax and interest rates can’t fall much further, and that bodes poorly for stocks.”
  6. Quantitative Tightening Is About to Ramp Up. What It Means for Markets. – “Market pricing is determined by supply and demand, and in the coming years, there is going to be a tremendous supply of Treasuries coming from two sources.”
  7. Seeing Red – “Is China our enemy or competitor? The answer is yes.”
  8.  Would You Still Buy A Tesla? – “I used to be a fan of Elon Musk, no longer. The guy is irrational, and he believes the rules don’t apply to him. And he acts like he’s the only one who owns the truth, who can move us into the future, and that’s just hogwash.”
  9. Pillow fight – “That’s like going to a Dallas Cowboys football game at AT&T Stadium, seeing 80,000 fans dressed in silver and blue with stars painted on their faces, all cheering wildly when the Cowboys score. Then, based on that experience, determining everyone across the nation is a rabid Cowboys fan and the 82,500 people at MetLife Stadium cheering for the Giants simply just can’t be real.”
  10. One Of The Smartest Things Anyone Has Ever Said To Me – ” I was finished with my Righteous Indignation phase and had settled more into a phase I would maybe call Please Just Don’t Hit Me With Your Car.”

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. Cash
  3. Solamere Trail Loop
  4. EBITDA Is Not A Good Proxy For Cash Flow
  5. Excel Tips: Football Field Chart

Updated stats:

Read ArticlesBooks
January891
February1100
March1023
April1032
May1343
June740
July822
August1127
September724
October
November
December
Total87822

Influential Reads – August 2022

Reading Time: 4 minutes

“So much advantage in life comes from being willing to look foolish in the short term. ” – Farnam Street

Happy Labor Day.  After you read this, go outside and ride your bike or something.

Seven books last month!  And I spent some good time reading through aging articles on my list (see How I Read) and culling others to help make my list a bit more manageable.  I am also working on a categorization scheme to guide my reading & research prioritization in the months ahead.  More on that at some future date.

So, I found the John MacDonald Travis McGee series.  So, in the vein of these two thoughts below, I made up some ground on my reading goal.

“I think it’s good to read ambitious books. But if you only get ambitious books (or worse, you force yourself to finish them before reading fun ones) you’ll kill any potential joy for reading you might have. So always have “fun” books—light, easy reads that make you feel good in addition to weightier tomes. That way you can switch between styles depending on whether you want challenge or relaxation and never give up the habit of reading.” – Scott Young

“Yet, many people—even those with a voracious reading habit—make the same mistake: They hardly, if ever, read fiction. They even brag about it! They’re too busy. They don’t have time for “art.” There’s plenty of “real” stuff—the characters in fiction that bear little resemblance to the world we know? I don’t have time for it. But fiction, like all wonderful art, is filled with beautiful bits of insight about the human condition. It can change your life and teach you just as much as any non-fiction book. Actually, no, it can teach you more! It can shine a light on universal truths that non-fiction, bounded by the facts and figures of its specific world, often cannot (to say nothing of the research that connects literature with improved empathy, reduced stress, and hone social skills).” – Ryan Holiday

Here are a few highlights from the series:

  • “Savagery, venom and guile are good survival quotients.”
  • “There is as much danger in overestimating as in underestimating the quality of the opposition.”
  • “These are the slums of the heart. Bless the bunnies. These are the new people, and we are making no place for them. We hold the dream in front of them like a carrot, and finally say sorry you can’t have any. And the schools where we teach them non-survival are gloriously architectured. They will never live in places so fine, unless they contract something incurable.”
  • “Somebody has to be tireless, or the fast-buck operators would asphalt the entire coast, fill every bay, and slay every living thing incapable of carrying a wallet.”
  • “Being a beach bum takes money. If you want to do it with flair. If the money comes in regularly, then you’re working for it, and you lose your status. I have to come by it in chunks now and then, to protect my way of life.”
  • “The old city was being filled with these tall tasteless rectangles, bright boxes which diminished the people who had to live and work in them. People kennels. Disposable cubicles for dispensable people.”
  • “Self-evaluation. It is the skin rash of the emotionally insecure.”
  • “Temptation does not deliver most of us into evil, because temptation is a constant and evil is a sometime thing with most of us.”
  • “The incomparably dull tract houses, glitteringly new, were marching out across the hills, cluttered with identical station wagons, identical children, identical barbecues, identical tastes in flowers and television.”
  • “My friend Meyer, the economist, says that cretins are the only humans who can be absolutely certain of their own sanity. All the rest of us go rocketing along rickety rails over spavined bridges and along the edge of bottomless gorges. The man who believes himself free of any taint of madness is a damned liar.”
  • “The stars were bright. A dog-thing hollered a hundred miles away. Somebody walked over my grave.”

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

  1. Recession Is Already Here for Many Small Businesses – “That’s for good reason. Some analysts say that while a mild fall in demand has weighed on energy prices, the drop in gas prices is largely due to the government’s release of strategic petroleum reserves.”
  2. Finding persistent invisible systems – “But plastic persists as a commercial solution, because the system is invisible and resilient. Each member of the system does what they do, usually for good reasons.”
  3. Brain Food: Appearing Foolish – “To be a good manager, you want things to run smoothly. And insights are not ways of running smoothly. Insights are disorganizing and disruptive. And so, that’s a major reason that organizations, without even intending to, block the insights that come their way.”
  4. Brandon Sanderson’s Advice for Doing Hard Things – “I can do hard things. Doing hard things has intrinsic value, and they will make me a better person, even if I end up failing.”
  5. Latticework: The New Investing – “Hagstrom makes a case that a successful stock picker must be ready to shift models and look at the markets from different vantage points with the passage of time.”
  6. Welfare Queens – “The Inflation Reduction Act (“IRA”) is being hailed/hated as a climate bill, but it’s really just the most recent investment by Eagle Capital”
  7. The Climate Bill Is About to Reshape Global Energy – “The age of renewable energy, by comparison, is coming on with lightning speed.”
  8. I Beg to Differ – “The basic idea behind second-level thinking is easily summarized: In order to outperform, your thinking has to be different and better.” and “Readily available quantitative information with regard to the present cannot be the source of superior performance.”
  9. The Fed Is About to Ramp Up Balance-Sheet Shrinkage. It May Get Dicey. – “Starting next month, those caps will rise to $60 billion and $35 billion, respectively, meaning the pace of balance-sheet runoff is about to double”
  10. A Simple Way to Introduce Yourself – “That’s it for the self-introduction framework. Present, past, future. Eloquent and effective”

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. Excel Templates & Other Free Stuff
  3. Solamere Trail Loop
  4. Operating Model Tips
  5. EBITDA Is Not A Good Proxy For Cash Flow

Updated stats:

Read ArticlesBooks
January891
February1100
March1023
April1032
May1343
June740
July822
August1127
September
October
November
December
Total80618

Influential Reads – July 2022

Reading Time: 2 minutes

“Predicting the future is harder than misremembering the past.” – Cliff Asness

I have been pretty quiet this summer, since I have no special insights into what the future holds.  There are things that I think are likely to happen.  Or should happen, but probably won’t.  But the error bars seem pretty wide at this point.

I keep coming back to the fact that there have been massive flows driving asset prices over the last few years.  And that seems to still be the case.  The Fed is on track to ramp up their balance sheet reduction in September and that will most certainly be interesting to watch unfold.

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

  1. Drinking Too Much Is an American Problem – “The social context of drinking turns out to matter quite a lot to how alcohol affects us psychologically.”
  2. The Bid/Ask Spread in Venture Capital – “When the bid/ask spread exceeds 5 or 10%, the market seizes up, like a combustion engine without oil. No one trades. Investors pack their vests into a rolly-suitcase and head to the beach.”
  3. Trout savant in a big black cape – “Even with that cape, Sheridan Anderson was always a stealth man.” SMS: Mrs. SFTE is attempting to turn me into a fisherman.
  4. June CPI report: bad, bad, bad, bad, bad – ” As I have been saying for 9 months, house prices (black) lead OER by 12-18 months, meaning we were likely to see the highest YoY% increases in OER ever. “
  5. Summary of My Post-CPI Tweets (June 2022) – ” And the Median CPI y/y chart is unambiguous at this point: still accelerating.”
  6. Tech and War – “If a country, corporation, or individual assumes that the tech platforms of another country are acting in concert with their enemy, they are highly motivated to pursue alternatives to those tech platforms even if those platforms work better, are more popular, are cheaper, etc.”
  7. JPMorgan’s Aronov Ignores the ‘Cash Is Trash’ Chorus – “But the reality is that if you have been in cash for the last five years, you’ve essentially outperformed the Bloomberg Aggregate index year-to-date, over one year, three years, and, depending on the day, yes, even five years. “
  8. 3.5% ASAP – “Be patient. 12 month Treasuries at 2.7% are better than your money market fund and almost all other alternatives.” SMS: The spread between MM funds and Tbills seems nonsensical to me.
  9. Brain Food: Good Advice – “You have to learn to quit being right all the time, and quit being smart all the time, and quit thinking this is a contest about how smart you are and how right you are, and realize that you are here to make a positive difference in the world.”
  10. Elon’s Out – “Musk seems to get a lot of joy out of using Twitter, and pretending to buy Twitter is a good way to create drama on Twitter.”

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. Cash
  3. Solamere Trail Loop
  4. EBITDA Is Not A Good Proxy For Cash Flow
  5. Excel Tips: Football Field Chart

Updated stats:

Read ArticlesBooks
January891
February1100
March1023
April1032
May1343
June740
July822
August
September
October
November
December
Total69411

Influential Reads – June 2022

Reading Time: 2 minutes

“The best way for investors to learn from mistakes is to let others make them, then read about it.” – Scott Barlow in The Globe and Mail 

A belated Happy Fourth of July…

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

  1. Bill Miller: An Investor’s Evolution (Part I) – “He found that the “source of excess return had little to do with pure accounting factors such as low p/e or low price-to-cash flow; it had to do with changes in the return on capital.””
  2. Time to Stop Believing Deficit Bullshit – “There is a rational middle between Zero deficits on one side and Modern Monetary Theorists on the other. We can fix our infrastructure, extend broadband to everyone throughout the country, even work to moderate climate change — and the economy will be just fine.”
  3. The Cantillon Effect: How the Rich Get Richer – “In other words, the “flow path” of the new money through a system matters.”  SMS here: The flow path of money leaving the system probably matters too.
  4. House Money – “There has been an unfathomable amount of money made in crypto over the last decade. But it’s not the amount of money made that is most shocking. It is the velocity at which it occurred, and the age group that benefited most.”
  5. Where does the wealth go when asset prices go down? – “The short answer is: It didn’t “go” anywhere. It vanished. It stopped existing.”
  6. Selling to yourself: the private equity groups that buy companies they own – “At the heart of the deals is a broader issue that is becoming more significant as stock markets tumble. Companies owned by private equity groups are facing the same pressures as their listed peers, as interest rates rise, supply chains struggle and an economic downturn looms. Critics of the industry believe some of these deals could be a way of hiding from this reality.”
  7. One Experiment Ends and Another Begins – “So this is in no way unforeseen. The prediction in advance was that this behavior would provoke very high inflation. And the MMTers said “pshaw.” They were wrong, and that experiment is over. The next person who mentions MMT, you are entitled to run out of town on a rail.”
  8. Right answer to wrong question – “For the first time in the history of Park City skiing, the planning commission has said “no” to resort upgrades. A ski town saying “no” to more skiing is a turning point. “
  9. The Challenging Middle – “Be wary. This present cycle is so unusual – pandemic lockdown, fiscal stimulus, overdue wage increases, inflation spike, supply chain issues, ongoing global pandemic, and a Fed overreaction (even panic) – that prior cycles do not fit very neatly. “
  10. Fed Starts Experiment of Letting $8.9 Trillion Portfolio Shrink – “After doubling in size through asset purchases in the first two years of the pandemic, the balance sheet will be reduced at a pace that’s almost twice as fast as after the last financial crisis. While the process officially commences on Wednesday, the first US Treasury securities won’t run off until $15 billion mature on June 15.”

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. Cash
  3. Operating Model Tips
  4. EBITDA Is Not A Good Proxy For Cash Flow
  5. Solamere Trail Loop

Updated stats:

Read ArticlesBooks
January891
February1100
March1023
April1032
May1343
June740
July
August
September
October
November
December
Total6129

Influential Reads – May 2022

Reading Time: 2 minutes

“I’ve realized a new reason why pessimism sounds smart: optimism often requires believing in unknown, unspecified future breakthroughs—which seems fanciful and naive.’” – Farnam Street

Apologies for the delay here.  We drove from Florida to Utah with some stops in Carlsbad Caverns N.P., Guadalupe Mountains N.P., Santa Fe, NM and Mesa Verde N.P.  That took some time.

Speaking of time, economic / market developments are occurring quite a bit faster than I would have predicted 30 – 60 days ago.

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

  1. How Much Further Can We Fall? – “In 2017, the average company traded at 5.4x forward compared to 7.93x as of this morning. There’s precedent for another halving.”
  2. Sunk costs at work – “Quitting is underrated.”
  3. Was the 1966-1982 Stock Market Really That Bad? – “It’s interesting to note that the 1966-82 period of low stock returns, high inflation, and high wage growth is basically the exact opposite of the current environment of high stock returns, low inflation and stagnating wages.”
  4. If You Think Free Speech Is Defined By Your Ability To Be An Asshole Without Consequence, You Don’t Understand Free Speech (But You Remain An Asshole) – “And when you look closely at the actual debate, it always comes down to “I want to be a disrespectful asshole to people I don’t like, and I don’t want to face any consequences for it.””
  5. This Time Wasn’t Different – “For instance, over 40% of all stocks had no earnings over the last 12 months.”
  6. Sunday Reads …The Glut of Overpriced Companies in The Private Markets – ” but now we have a private market filled with hundreds of Unicorns from Softbank and its clones that will have to work through the system.”
  7. Brief Comments on the TerraUSD and Tether Stablecoin Breakdowns – “To be explicit about our dim view of crypto, it’s taken literally hundreds of years to make simple-minded banking not-too-dangerous for the financial health of its customers. There is no reason to think that crypto promoters are going to design a better and certainly not a safer mousetrap any time soon.”
  8. 13 Strategies That Will Make You A Better Reader – ““You must linger among a limited number of master-thinkers, and digest their works, if you would derive ideas which shall win firm hold in your mind.””
  9. What Should Accompany Stocks: Cash or Bonds? – “Thus, while intermediate-term Treasuries should typically be used to offset the risk of a stock portfolio, there is some logic to holding a shorter portfolio today: say, a mix that consists half of five-year notes and half of Treasury bills.
  10. 15 of the Craziest Charts Right Now – “And it’s not just a handful of stocks that are getting killed.”

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
May1343
June
July
August
September
October
November
December
Total5389

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 – 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:

Read ArticlesBooks
January891
February1100
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December
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:

Read ArticlesBooks
January891
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December
Total891