Weekend Upgrades – Improve How You Think, Invest, and Live # 1

Weekend Upgrades – Improve How You Think, Invest, and Live # 1

Constant small improvement compounds and helps us become better in time. This new weekly Friday post will help us become better thinkers, investors, and people in time.

Meet The Man Who Could Own Aviva France. And About The Greatest Customer Insurance Contract Ever – “When he was seven years old, Max-Hervé George was given a magic ticket by his father. It lets him turn back the clock, to invest with perfect hindsight week after week, steadily accumulating a fortune. And compounding at 68.8% per year since 1997″

Identify Your Strengths and Weaknesses With The Superpower Exercise – Self realization and self-improvement.

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Pat Dorsey’s Moats Mindmapped – A wonderful visual illustration of moats. And the companies that have he different kinds of them by Jana Vembunarayanan of Seeking Wisdom.

Cognitive Exhaustion: Resting Your Mental Muscle – How to better rest your mind to get back to full cognitive ability.

How To Blow $200 Billion: A Roadmap for Value Destruction – Mental models.  Corporate finance.  Principle of inversion.  Incentives.  Company analysis.  Case study.

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Absolutely Amazing Testimonial For My Book and Weekend Reading Links

I just wanted to share an absolutely amazing testimonial that a reader emailed me recently about my book that literally brought tears to my eyes.  Thank you so much to this reader and to everyone else who has bought or read my book, left a testimonial or review, or read this blog.

“I knew all the terms and read all the books but when it came to actually reading an annual report and getting something out of it I was lost. What your book did for me was offer concrete examples of how to find the information in an annual report that will allow an investor to make a conservative estimation of the true value of a company. Not only did it explain value matrices and why they are important and how they should be applied; but how an investor can find the inputs for these calculations in the annual report. For me that was a real eye opener. I would not change your book. I think it is the perfect starting point for someone who wants to start digging deeper into valuing businesses. It is a simple read and the cases and techniques used in each case are well explained. It does not overload the reader with either high theory or esoteric math. I think it does just enough to explain mind set when value investing and how to “discover” the value of a business.  So I would not change your book; it provides a great starting point for someone interested in valuing businesses.” Testimonial that a reader sent to my email.

Weekend Reading Links

Time.com – Researchers Clone Cells From Two Adult Men.

Nature.com – Young Blood Reverses Age Related Impairments In Cognitive Function and Synaptic Plasticity in Mice.

Gizmodo – Scientists Have Created “Alien” DNA.

Mindhacks – The Poly Themes Of Psychosis.

Medium.com – 7 Things You Need To Stop Doing To Be More Productive, Backed By Science.

Beyond Proxy – The Way To Scale Up A Compounder.

SoonIwillbe.com – Creativity Requires Courage.

Four Hour Work Week Blog – The Top 5 Reasons To Be A Jack of All Trades.

Reddit AMA with Alice Schroeder, Author of The Snowball.

Pick The Brain – 15 Tactics That Will Double Your Productivity In No Time.

Weekend Reading Links: Psychology, Competitive Advantages, Niches, Curiosity, Breaching Moats, Studying Complexity, and More.

IO9.com – The Most Important Moment In The Evolution of Life.

Destructoid – How Paradox Interactive Found Success In A Niche Market.

Big Questions Online – How Can The Study Of Complexity Transform Our Understanding of the World?

New York Times – How Inactivity Changes the Brain.

New York Times – A Start-Up Run By Friends Takes On Shaving Giants.

Four Hour Work Week – Preventing Burn Out: A Cautionary Tale.

Pick The Brain – Boring is a State of Mind: How Curiosity Diminishes Monotony.

Farnam Street – The Man That Never Quit.

Cosmos Magazine – Psychology of How We Perceive Fear.

NY Mag – Why Abercrombie Is Losing Its Shirt.

Portfolio Update and Weekend Reading Links

Portfolio Update – Sold Vivendi.  Now Portfolios Are 69% Cash.

I made a transaction for the first time in more than a year in the portfolios that I manage and wanted to update where those stand as of today.  I sold out of Vivendi today up 50% in the nearly 2 years that I held the company.  My reasons for selling were simple: 1) Vivendi was one of the first companies I bought into after I started doing actual company analysis and the thesis played out exactly as I had hoped it would.  They sold assets, paid down debt, and are in a much healthier position now going forward.  2) Going forward there is now too much uncertainty for me on what their plans are with their massive amount of cash they will soon be getting and I do not want to see a repeat of the early 2000’s acquisition spree that went horribly wrong.  3)  MOST IMPORTANT POINT.  I am now much more confident in my abilities to analyze companies for potential investment then I was two plus years ago when I bought Vivendi and think that I can do much better buying microcaps and/or special situations companies and want to be ready for any kind of market crash with a lot of cash in the portfolios.

The percentages below are the percentages (rounded) that make up the current portfolios.  Also, until the market drops significantly the make up of the portfolio below will likely remain intact until more companies become undervalued again and I can start buying again.

Cash – 69%

BOBS – 13%

PARF – 12%

CMT – 6%

Weekend Reading Links

The New York Times – Cocaine Incorporated.

A Wealth of Common Sense – Buffett’s Fourth Law of Motion; Your Behavior.

The Daily Galaxy – An absolutely amazing site if you love science, astronomy, exoplanets, and anything else having to do with space.

Financial Times – Rafael Nadal’s Key To Winning.

The Sova Group – Xoom Company Analysis.

East Asia Student – 10 Best Mandarin Learning Resources.

Walrus Value – Investment Booklist and Borrowing Hard To Find Books for Free.

Valuewalk – The Classic Shelby Davis Double Play.

JLCollinsnh – The Worst Possible Investment you Can Construct (Practicing Inversion).

MIT Technology Review – Scientific Thinking In Business.

 

Weekend Reading Links: U-Haul, Shane Parrish, Poor Charlie’s Almanack, @MichioKaku, Alien Intelligence, Moats, and More.

Big Think – Yellowstone Super Volcano Is A Much Bigger Time Bomb Than We Thought.

Bloomberg Via @JacobWolinsky on Twitter – Hidden U-Haul Billionaire Emerges With Storage Empire.

Forbes Via @Mungerisms on Twitter – Where To Find The Biggest Ideas For Your Business.  An interview with Shane Parrish who runs the amazing Farnam Street Blog.

Dropbox – Via The Equity Desk Group I am a part of on Facebook – A Free eBook Copy of one of my favorite books ever Poor Charlie’s Almanack.  In my experience the file is so big that the book will need to either be read on a tablet or computer.  It did not work on my phone.  The book has also been added to the Recommended Reading and Viewing page of this blog as well.

The New York Times Via @michiokaku on Twitter – A Scientist Predicts The Future.

The Economist Via @vitaliyk on Twitter – Nelson Mandela: The Long Walk Is Over.

Above The Market Via @ReformedBroker on Twitter – Invert, Always Invert.

iO9.com – Crows Could Be The Key To Understanding Alien Intelligence.

The Sova Group – Moats In Real Life (Mouse Ears Included).

Intelligent Investing – Patterns Of Failure.