A Few Things: Books That Changed My Life, Marko Papic on Germany, Jony Ive on Focus, Julian Robertson's Wisdom, Vista on Enterprise Software Investing, Viking on Equity Long-Short.....
August 24, 2022
I am sharing this weekly email with you because I count you in the group of people I learn from and enjoy being around.
You can check out last week’s edition here: Making Better Decisions, Compounding Over Long Periods, The Power of Focus, Time Management for Mortals, Enlightenment Now......
“It makes me so happy. To be at the beginning again, knowing almost nothing....
A door like this has cracked open five or six times since we got up on our hind legs. It's the best possible time of being alive, when almost everything you thought you knew is wrong.”
- Tom Stoppard, Arcadia
"Be Water, My Friend.
Empty your mind.
Be formless, shapeless, like water.
You put water into a cup, it becomes the cup.
You put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle.
You put it into a teapot, it becomes the teapot.
Now water can flow or it can crash.
Be water, my friend."
- Bruce Lee
“If you always put limit on everything you do, physical or anything else. It will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.”
- Bruce Lee
A. A Few Things Worth Checking Out:
1. Ashvin Chhabra is the President and Chief Investment Officer of Euclidean Capital, the family office for Jim Simons of Renaissance Technologies. Ashvin joined Euclidean in 2015 after spending time as CIO of the Institute for Advanced Study and CIO of Merrill Lynch Wealth Management.
Ashvin is the author of The Aspirational Investor and is recognised as one of the founders of goals-based wealth management. This conversation with Ted Seides on Capital Allocators really had me thinking a lot more about portfolio construction, he’s well know for his Beyond Markowitz paper. They had a great discussion around focusing on both the goals of the organisation (or your own) and also the constraints and advantages the organisation has.
Thank you William F for flagging.
2. Marko Papic at Clocktower Group, is my favourite strategist and he had a couple of tweet storms on Tuesday. This one talks about why we shouldn’t be freaking out about European gas / electricity.
and one to go with it.
3. Last week we discussed Focus, and this 1min, 30sec video from Jony Ive is always a great reminder of what that really means in practice.
4. Tiger Management's Julian Robertson passed away on August 23rd. Julian Robertson was an American investor and former hedge fund manager best known for founding Tiger Management in 1980, which grew to be one of the most prominent hedge funds of its generation
He gave “birth” to numerous Tiger cubs and mentored many star hedge fund managers including Lee Ainslie, John A. Griffin, Glen Kacher and Chase Coleman.
This is a good summary of wisdom by Tren Griffin: A Dozen Things I’ve learned from Julian Robertson about Investing.
5. Robert F. Smith, founder of Vista was on ILTB to discuss Investing in Enterprise Software. The most interesting bits for me were on:
[00:05:52] - Whether or not software is becoming a saturated market and what will drive demand over the coming decades
[00:29:44] - Capital cycles and how much they truly impact the software world
[00:43:10] - The advice he’d give on having good relationships with LPs
[00:49:27] - Who he’d give all of his capital to that has nothing to do with Vista
6. Paul Enright, was at Viking Global for over 12 years. He learnt a ton there and now manages his own capital. He was on with Ted Seides discussing the Long-Short Equity Investing. A lot gems here around around business analysis, recycling capital and market structure.
I enjoyed this deck he made: "So you want to be an investment analyst?"
7. A Reminder to go visit your Parents and Grandparents. From 40 onwards we spend more and more of our time alone. That peaks at age 80 when we are spending over 8 hours alone every day. Thanks to Phil Ordway.
8. 17 Equations That Changed the World. I am going to try to learn more about the ones I’ve never heard off. For example: Navier-Stokes or Euler’s Formula!
B. Books That Changed My Life
A good friend (Sami L) had asked: “Which books had most impacted me?”.
I didn’t really become a big reader until 2016, at age 38. Prior to that, I would read maybe a handful of books every year, I was too busy working and neglected learning from books.
A few life events made me approach books differently and use them in a more targeted manner to accelerate my learning. I have found with any book, there is an optimal window when it will be most useful to you. If you meet a book outside that window it may not be useful to you at all but inside that window it’s worth it’s weight in gold.
Here is a short list that helped me grow:
Essentialism, Greg McKeown and Deep Work, Cal Newport. I was a sucker for FOMO. All shiny objects attracted me. These book taught me how to focus on the things that mattered and do the deep work required.
Stoic Philosophy. My gateway to it was William Irvine’s A Guide To the Good Life and Ryan Holiday’s Ego Is The Enemy. These books showed me all my destructive habits and ways of thinking and how a life of joy was possible.
This blog post is a good introduction to Stoicism. Thank you Yaser.
Art of Possibility, Zander and How Will You Measure Your Life, Christensen. Showed me not to ignore long term life goals and remember what I was trying to achieve, but at the same time to remember to have fun and not take life too seriously.
Radical Acceptance, Tara Brach, Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle and Four Thousand Weeks, Oliver Burkeman. So much of our personal and intrapersonal issues arise not being able to accept ourselves and not living in the here and now. These books helped me be present.
Why We Sleep, Matthew Walker. We spend 25-30% of our life sleeping. Sleep is the best “life enhancing drug”, yet most of us don’t understand it or use it well. Thank you Francesco G for sharing it.
Own The Day, Own your Life, Aubrey Marcus and How Not To Die, Dr Michael Greger. Life is energy and energy is life. So much of living a happier more productive life is getting the ingredients right, of how you construct the 24 hours we all get.
The Market Wizards Series, Jack Schwager and Trading For a Living, Alexander Elder. Schwager helped me learn from the greats on the many ways and approaches to make money. Elder (Thank you Plamen M) taught me the basics of money management, psychology and sizing.
Extreme Ownership, Jocko Willink, taught me ownership, responsibility and leadership. Discipline equals freedom. Never Eat Alone, Keith Ferrazi, made me realise the power of people and relationships and gave me the tools to build a community.
What books changed your life?
I have a favour to ask you.
Many of you bought my wife’s book: The Halfways. Thank you for doing that.
If you are enjoying it, I’d really appreciate it if you can leave a review on Amazon. It really helps by signalling to the booksellers and publishers.
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Thank you for bringing the Beyond markowitz paper to my attention. I never heard of it before. I’ve been applying similar ideas in my personal portfolio but this really fleshes out a comprehensive model. I’ve done nothing but read the paper and thinking about it since I opened it. Thanks again