Ramblings

Happy Hour: Serial Compounder

I’m posting this a day early because I’m getting a jumpstart on the holiday weekend. Yesterday, I watched a Talks at Goggle video (embedded below) on Tom Gayner. Value investors out there might recognize the name.

Gayner is the CIO of Markel Corp, an insurance company modeled after Berkshire Hathaway. In the video, Gayner talks about his story, how he evolved as a value investor, and what he looks for in a company. He offers up his four points on what he looks for: Continue Reading…

Happy Hour: Building Lifeboats

Between fear of losing and fear of missing out, you cover a big chunk of bad investing decisions.

Nobody likes to miss out on what seems like easy money (it never is easy). And they definitely hate to lose even more. Yet, following both lines of thought leaves you in a vicious cycle where you never get anywhere.

Avoiding or breaking that cycle should be your goal. I believe the best way to do it is through experience, knowledge, and better planning. Continue Reading…

Happy Hour: History Lesson

I was reminded this week of the importance of history by one of the best financial writers today. Jason Zweig writes the Intelligent Investor column at the Wall Street Journal where he consistently weaves history lessons into common sense investing advice.

This week, he published two transcripts from speeches he gave back in 1999 and 2001. Both speeches show why there’s a need to learn history and how you should use it. Continue Reading…

Happy Hour: Certainly Uncertain

Howard Marks released a new memo (PDF) this week on risk. It’s a revised and updated version of a memo he wrote last year. Being that the topic is risk, it’s worth a read. I thought I’d highlight a piece of it.

One thing people are not good at managing, especially around investing, is risk. And that’s an understatement. People are generally terrible at it. Continue Reading…

Happy Hour: Graham on Stock Prices

I re-read Ben Graham’s The Interpretation of Financial Statements this week. It’s a manual on, you guessed it – how to read financial statements. Okay, it’s not a thriller, but it’s barely 100 pages long and you can finish in an afternoon between naps.

At the end of the book, he briefly covers the difference between stock prices and values. This was 1937. Graham was well ahead of his time: Continue Reading…