Thursday, February 9, 2023
Fifty years ago...............
Boring is not all that bad.................
Gambling at the casino is a form of entertainment. Successful investing is not supposed to be entertaining.
Following the markets can be a form of entertainment as long as you don’t act on every impulse but the act of investing itself should not be exciting. In fact, good investing should be relatively boring.
Investors need to remember this when they’re in search of investment advice as well.
If you’re taking recommendations from people in the financial media you must understand the difference between entertainment and advice.
-Ben Carlson, from here
But I knew the one thing I might regret is not ever having tried. And I knew that that would haunt me every day. So when I thought about it that way it was an incredibly easy decision.
-Jeff Bezos, from here
A million in the hands of a single banker is a great power; he can at once lend it where he will, and borrowers can come to him, because they know or believe that he has it. But the same sum scattered in tens and fifties through a whole nation is no power at all: no one knows where to find it or whom to ask for it. Concentration of money in banks, though not the sole cause, is the principal cause which has made the Money Market of England, so exceedingly rich, so much beyond that of other countries.-Walter Bagehot, from his 1873 book, Lombard Street: A Description of the Money Market
A singular work of art...................
Creativity is not a rare ability. It is not difficult to access. Creativity is a fundamental aspect of being human. It is out birthright. And it's for all of us. . . .
Regardless of wheter or not we're formally making art, we are all living as artists. We perceive, filter, and collect data, then curate an experience for ourselves and others based on this information set. Whether we do this consciously or unconsciously, by the mere fact of being alive, we are active participants in the ongoing process of creation. . . .
Attuned choice by attuned choice, your entire life is a form of self-expression. You exist as a creative being in a creative universe. A singular work of art.
-Rick Rubin, The Creative Act: A Way of Being
a common vice...........
I should be prone to excuse our people for having no other pattern and rule of perfection than their own manners and customs, for it is a common vice, not of the vulgar only but of almost all men, to fix their aim and limit by the ways to which they were born.
Michel de Montaigne, The Complete Works, Book 1, Chapter 49
Tuesday, February 7, 2023
A look at productivity................
Sometimes “productivity” feels like a country you’ve heard a lot about but never thought you’d get a chance to visit.
-from this Barking Up The Wrong Tree post
Adams banked on the sage deliberations of a band of hard-working farmers reasoning their way toward rebellion. That was how democracy worked. He dreaded disunity. "Neither religion nor liberty can long subsist in the tumult of altercation, and amidst the noise and violence of faction," he warned. There was nothing feigned about his zeal for liberty, "the best cause," he assured his wife, "that virtuous men contend for." In his case it was bred deep in the Calvinist bone. Adams could not live in the house with a slave and arranged for the one who arrived on his doorstep to be freed. He refused to believe that prejudice and private interest would ultimately trample knowledge and benevolence. Self-government was in his view inseparable from governing the self; it demanded a certain asceticism. He wrote anthem after anthem to the qualities he believed essential to a republic—austerity, integrity, selfless public service—qualities that would become more military than civilian. The contest was never for him less than a spiritual struggle. It is impossible with Adams to determine where piety ended and politics began: the watermark of Puritanism shines through everything he wrote. Faith was there from the start, as was the scrappy, iconoclastic spirit, as were the daring, disruptive excursions beyond the law.
-Stacy Schiff, The Revolutionary Samuel Adams
Martin Gurri is a national treasure..............
American politics resembles a three-way scrum. An institutional center, dominated by a guardian class of elites, who manage pretty much everything in modern society, faces persistent assaults from the populist Left and Right.
On close inspection, the three contending parties can be reduced to two ideological streams: the politics of control and the politics of incoherence. Terrified by the rise of populism, the elites have hardened into what the French would call an “extreme center,” claiming a right to rule in perpetuity by reason of its superior virtue and moderation. Democracy has been redefined as the electoral triumph of the center. Candidates from outside the fold are deemed “semi-fascist” and thus illegitimate. . . .
The politics of control unite the extreme center and left populism: at present, the two factions share an uneasy alliance. This is only partly a contradiction. The center is ideologically exhausted and requires justification for control. In identity and environmentalism, the Left supplies that justification. The center is also aware that institutional power has decayed and verges on collapse. By its ability to summon the digital mob, the Left can offer social control over a restless public. At any rate, left populism today is not revolutionary but performative: it needs the media to build a proper stage on which to strut. The young rebels are often the children of the elites, getting credentialed in moral drama before they ascend to leadership.
-as culled from this post
While wandering through the Intertunnel....
..............a few interesting things were found:
The rule, “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need,” creates incentives to demonstrate minimum ability and maximum need. Poverty is the inevitable result.
Unprecedented actions on the scale that we experienced in 2020-2022 will bring unexpected results in 2023. So, while we never want to ignore a number like the January jobs report, we have to question how much is signal and how much is noise.
The economy is still absorbing the money printed during the pandemic. Inflation has not been eradicated, the Fed is highly unlikely to loosen policy anytime soon, and earnings are likely to fall as all the stimulus wears off. That’s not a recipe for a simple forecast or a soft landing. Like the Super Bowl, until the game is played no one knows exactly what will happen. Count us less bullish than conventional wisdom.
You learn something new every day; as part of the settlement to the Spanish-American War - Spain agreed to sell the US the Philippines for $20 million. Andrew Carnegie, the richest man in the world at the time, offered to reimburse the government $20 million if they would give the Philippines their freedom instead of making it a US Protectorate. The government rejected his kind offer...
I don't care which party is in power, the State of the Union address has become an embarrassment. It should be abandoned.
Sunday, February 5, 2023
People don't realize that the future is just now, but later.
About those meetings.................
Accenture's team also discovered that something that nearly every meeting does is a waste of time: introductions. The data show that everyone except for the person speaking is neurologically frustrated during these recitations. Instead of an introduction, Accenture now puts names on paper tents in front of attendees. Using name tents also avoids "introduction creep" in which one person offers an in-depth description of his or her job, career and personal goals, sporting activities, children, and dog. People are able to meet each other during frequent breaks without formal introduction.
-Paul J. Zak, Immersion: The Science of the Extraordinary and the Source of Happiness
..........................with Charlie Munger:
The desire to get rich fast is pretty dangerous.
Knowing what you don't know is more useful that being brilliant.
Acknowledging what you don't know is the dawning of wisdom.
People are trying to be smart—all I am trying to do is not to be idiotic, but it's harder than most people think.
Life, in part, is like a poker game, wherein you have to learn to quit sometimes when holding a much-loved hand—you must learn to handle mistakes and new facts that change the odds.
My idea of shooting fish in a barrel is draining the barrel first.
Mimicking the herd invites regression to the mean.
I succeeded because I have a long attention span.
It's waiting that helps you as an investor, and a lot of people just can't stand to wait.
I think that one should recognize reality even when one doesn't like it; indeed, especially when one doesn't like it.
-all quotes lifted from The Tao of Charlie Munger