Conclusion and Further Recommended Reading – On Float Part 7

Conclusion and Further Recommended Reading – On Float Part 7

This post is the last one in the On Float series started way back on February 2nd 2016.  Yes that date is correct.  I posted the first article in this series Charlie Munger On Deferred Tax Liabilities and Intrinsic Value – On Float Part 1 seven months ago.

If I’ve done my job well in the seven parts, more than 12,000 words, and 60 pages of content including this post we all should know the following now.

  • What float is.
  • Why it’s important.
  • How companies can use float as positive leverage.
  • How Buffett got so rich using float.
  • How to find float on a balance sheet.
  • How to evaluate float.
  • How float affects a company and its margins.
  • Maybe the most important thing why float affects a company and its margins.
  • How float affects a company’s value.
  • And answered the question is float ever bad?

But as with any great thing in life and investing there’s always more to learn and improve on.  Knowing this I’ve included the things I’ve learned the bulk about investment float from below.

Also make sure to read the comments sections of any of the following as well as there is usually great commentary there on the specifics of float.

All the following are in no particular order.  Have been added to the Recommended Reading and Viewing page.  And are designated as MUST READS!!! on the Recommended Reading and Viewing page.

My posts about float.

I specifically want to thank Warren Buffett, Charlie Munger, Professor Sanjay Bakshi, and The Brooklyn Investor for sharing their knowledge on float.  Without their knowledge none of my posts would have happened.

Reading the above things and taking notes where necessary will help you further understand the nuances of float.

But if you really want to continue learning about float make sure to read company filings, take notes, analyze the company fully, analyze its float, and value the company.

Doing this over and over – like with almost everything in value investing – not only ingrains these concepts in your thought processes.  But the more you do it the more nuances you’ll spot.  And the more intimate knowledge you’ll have of investment float and its immense power.

If I’ve done my job well over the last 60 pages we should now have a huge advantage over other investors who either don’t know what investment float is.  Don’t know how to value and evaluate it.  Or won’t take the time to learn how to do these things.

But as always there’s always more to learn and improve on so on to the next one…

Please leave any comments, questions, or concerns you have about float in the comments section below.


Remember if you want access to my exclusive notes and preliminary analysis you need to subscribe for free to Value Investing Journey.  And this isn’t all you’ll get when you subscribe either.

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Value Investing Journey 10 Most Popular Posts Of 2015

Value Investing Journey 10 Most Popular Posts Of 2015

The following list is the Value Investing Journey 10 Most popular Posts of 2015.

If you missed any when they were first posted make sure to check them out below now.  Here’s looking forward to an even better 2016.

10. Car Wash Psychology, Mental Models, And The Power Of Habit

9. Searching For Case Studies – Turning $2 Million Into $2 Trillion

8. My Answer To How Do You Find Stock Opportunities?

7. Armanino Foods Case Study Part 1 – Preliminary Analysis

6. On Failure

5. The 15 Steps I Took To Become An Excellent Value Investor

isaac newton

4. 17 Things That Changed My Life – Some Saved It

3. Why The P/E Ratio Is Useless – And How To Calculate EV

2. Lionel Messi Is A Failure

And the number one most viewed post on this site in 2015 was…

1. Warren Buffett And Charlie Munger Are Failures

File:Charlie Munger.jpgFile:Warren Buffett KU Visit.jpg

From the views it looks like you’re interested in a variety of topics.

Valuation, case studies, Buffett and Munger, failure, psychology, habit, mental models, and personal improvement were major themes of the above list.

According to Munger reading a wide variety of things means we all improved as investors and thinkers in 2015.

Remember, no matter how fast you improve or learn as long as you continue to learn and improve this will compound over time and lead us closer to our goals.

Bonus – Most Viewed Page Of The Year

The number one viewed page on the blog – besides the home page – was the Recommended Reading And Viewing Page.  This one page got almost 8,000 unique views last year by itself.

If you’ve never visited this page you should.  It holds links to all the best resources I’ve learned from over the years.  And gets updated regularly.

Is there anything I haven’t written about yet that you want me to in 2016?  Did your favorite post make the list? If so which one was your favorite?  If not which post was your favorite that didn’t make it?  Let me know in the comments below.

And to make sure you don’t miss any more great content subscribe to Value Investing Journey for free here.

Once subscribed you’ll also get entered to win prizes.  Get a 50% discount on a One Year Press On Research subscription.  And get three gifts.

“You Can Do Anything You Put Your Mind To.”

“You Can Do Anything You Put Your Mind To.”


Note: I’ve worked on this post off and on for more than two months since reading The Brain That Changes Itself in September.

Between the move across country and getting settled down in Tampa there’s been a lot of breaks.   But this concept is so important I knew I had to finish it, even if it took a long time.

I hope you enjoy the final article below and find the concept of neuroplasticity as useful, life changing, and necessary as I have.


Not often in life do you come across something having the power to change your life for the better.  It’s even less often that you realize it as you’re reading.

For me it takes weeks, months, or sometimes years for lessons to sink in and become something that has the potential to change my life.

But as I read The Brain That Changes Itself in September I knew I was on to something life changing.

The premise of The Brain That Changes Itself is the brain changes every time we do anything.

Anytime we read, listen, watch TV, slug around the house, learn something new, or practice anything.  When we do things neurons in our brains improve the connections with whatever it is we’re doing.

The more you do something the easier it is.  And the more you’ll understand how to improve things.  But the inverse is also true.  The longer we continue bad habits the harder they are to break.

This brings to mind the following quote from Warren Buffett:

If you’ve ever tried to break a bad habit and change it to  a better one you know this process is difficult.  If you want any chance of success you need to put full focus into the new habit you’re trying to form.  Or the old habit will stay in place

For more information on the Power of Habit go to this post.

But before we go further we need to go back…

I came across neuroplasticity some time ago.  I’m not sure when.  But I do remember thinking its potential was great enough to change the world and fortunes of millions of people if they knew about it.

Have you ever heard someone you care about – or maybe even your own inner hater – saying I’m not smart or good enough to do something?  We all have.   And it pains me to hear people say this.

I’ve always thought if people are passionate enough they can change their lives.  Even if they have learning disabilities, they can change if they worked hard enough and spent enough time improving and learning.

Why did I think this?

  • Reason #1:  Because my parents raised me saying “You can do anything you put your mind too.”  How literal this has turned out to be over time.
  • And Reason #2: Because I’m proof it can happen.

My Extreme Dizziness

A couple years after my dizziness started I was at my worst physically.

I could do nothing but lay around watching TV because every time I moved my head even a tiny bit I felt terrible.  Just the act of getting up and going to the fridge for something to eat made me so dizzy and nauseous that I couldn’t do anything the rest of the day.

This lasted for three years or so…

No doctor I went to ever found anything on the dozens of tests run.  And most doctors were dismissive, treating me like I was faking.

At this point I had zero hope of getting better.  I was resigned to feeling terrible all day, every day, for the rest of my life…  And I was only 22 years old.

This didn’t change until my mom found an Occupational Therapist (OT) in Wyoming who gave me Vestibular Rehabilitation Exercises to do.  These helped start retraining my brain to get rid of the dizziness.

Even though the OT flat out told me “You’re never going to be able to do all the things you did before,” this visit gave me hope for the first time in years.  Hope that someday – in spite of her telling me I wouldn’t – that maybe I would get better.

Why?  Because I’m a stubborn and persistent person who doesn’t like to being told they can’t do anything.

This visit and the exercises she gave me were my first introduction to neuroplasticity and the possibility of retraining the brain.

What Is Neuroplasticity?

Below is the definition of this life altering concept from Wikipedia.

Also known as brain plasticity, is an umbrella term that encompasses both synaptic plasticity and non-synaptic plasticity—it refers to changes in neural pathways and synapses due to changes in behavior, environment, neural processes, thinking, and emotions – as well as to changes resulting from bodily injury.

So what does that mean?

Neuroplasticity is concept that the brain changes a little every time we read, write, listen, talk, or feel anything.  The more we repeat things in a dedicated fashion the easier they will become.  And the more we will know and understand what we’re doing.

The Science of Neuroplasticity

The wording in the video is important: “Repeated and Directed Change”.

This doesn’t mean multi tasking…  Reading a book while watching TV.  Or reading and searching the internet on your phone at the same time… Something my generation does a lot.

Repeated and directed change means intense and repeated focus on whatever it is you want to learn or do.  For an extended period of time.

One of the examples in The Brain That Changes Itself talks about how after severe strokes some people lose the ability to talk,  pick things up with one arm, or even move an arm altogether.

To retrain their brains some of these patients went through intense eight to ten hour days of forcible use of these abilities.  Even going so far as practicing picking things up over and over again for eight to ten hours a day three days a week.

Progress was slow but over time patients who went through these brain retraining programs spoke better.  They had better motor skills.  And they could use their affected limbs again better than the others who didn’t do the training.

This happened even after many were told by doctors they would never talk or use their affected limbs again.

But I thought the brain was fixed like a machine and didn’t change?  How is this possible?

The Brain Isn’t A Machine

I’m only 28 and even when I was going through school kids were separated by IQ tests that “proved” how smart someone was going to be their entire life.  Kids with low IQ’s and learning disabilities went to special classes to “help” them.

The curse of low expectations – and the vicious cycle of getting called dumb all the time – led many of these kids to hate school.  Some even dropped out.

The curse of high expectations went the other way too.  Getting called smart all the time led many of the kids with high IQ’s to slack off and rely on their “gifts.  Many didn’t work as hard as the “challenged” kids leading many of the “gifted” kids to not reach their potential.

Kids in the middle of the IQ range weren’t pushed to learn as much as possible.  And were often an afterthought.

Hell, I even get told a version of this on a regular basis by people who email me…

An email I get on a semi regular basis goes something like this.  “Even though I want to learn I’m not smart or young enough to learn about finance and investing.”

Well I’m here to prove to you today this isn’t true.

No matter what your IQ is.  No matter if you’ve been told you’re dumb or slow.  No matter how old you are.   You can learn anything you want…  If you’re willing to put enough time into it.

Even if you have only half a brain…

The Girl With Half A Brain

The Brain That Changes Itself wrote about a woman who was born with only half her brain.   I couldn’t find the original video of her.  I did find this article detailing here story here… But the video above shows similar results from the work of neuroplasticity.

Newer studies have confirmed that kids’ brains are more plastic – changing more and faster – than adults.  Yet if adults work hard, concentrate, and practice a lot using deliberate practice methods, adult brains can change a lot too.

Just take a look at the two videos below for more proof.

“They Don’t Dare To Dream”

The Woman With Multiple Learning Disabilities Changes Her Brain

For more information on Barbara Arrowsmith-Young go to her website here.

I got chills watching this video.

While at my worst I wasn’t as bad off as the woman in this video.  I still couldn’t do much for the last ten years without feeling terribly dizzy.  And when I was at my worst I did fall.

Why Do We Fall?

I wish I could have seen this before my dizziness came… Because when I fell I didn’t even try to get back up for several years.

This story is outside the scope of this article.  But my dizziness did get bad enough where I fell.

I was dumb enough to continue to work 20+ hours a week while going to school half the day during my senior year.  And still run track as well.  Like I told you, I’m stubborn and persistent.

Some people may even call what I was doing dumb – I was a moron then – because I harmed myself even more by pushing so hard.

I finally gave up and didn’t do anything for almost three years in my late teens and early 20s. That is until my mom found out about the occupational therapist mentioned before.

Over the last decade I saw dozens of doctors. They ran hundreds of tests.   And did many other things that helped further retrain my brain and balance centers that put me on the path towards full recovery.

I finally completed this after 10 long years in May 2014 when I found a new neurologist who gave me medication that allows me to do almost everything I want, outside of running, working out hard, and working myself to exhaustion.

So yes, while the occupational therapist was technically right in saying I wouldn’t ever be “normal” again, I can do almost everything I want.  And most important to me is I can now function as a working adult for my wife and daughters  And play with them as they grow.

This is neuroplasticity in action…  Although I didn’t even know what this was until about a year ago.

Without the brains potential to change and retrain itself I wouldn’t be doing anything I’m doing today.  And I may well have completed the dark thoughts I  talked about in 17 Things That Changed My Life – Some Saved It.

If I can become what I have so far with all the disadvantages I have, imagine what you can do with your college degrees.  Not to mention the time advantages you’ll have of not losing 10 years of your life.

You too can change your brain – and life – with the knowledge of neuroplasticity.  For further reading please read the information below.  And definitely read The Brain That Changed Itself linked throughout this article.

It turns out that my parents were right all along: “You really can become and do whatever you put your mind to.”  Even with only half a brain. So what’s your excuse to not work towards your goals now?

More In Depth Information

If you’d like more information on the power to change your brain go to the following places.

And last up are some Tweets I sent about The Brain That Changes Itself…

Jason Rivera ‏@Jmriv1986 Sep 7

From the book The Brain That Changes Itself #Neuroplasticity#ThePowerofHabit

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Jason Rivera ‏@Jmriv1986 Sep 6

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“The brain isn’t an inanimate vessel that we fill rather it’s more like a living creature with an appetite. One that can grow and (1/2)

Jason Rivera ‏@Jmriv1986 Sep 6

change itself with proper nourishment and exercise.” Michael Mezenich from The Brain That Changes Itself #Neuroplasticity (2/2)

Do you have any experience with the power of neuroplasticity?  If so please let me know in the comments below.

Until next time…  Keep Improving.


To receive all other content for Value Investing Journey.  Gain access to exclusive content.  Be entered to win free gifts.  Get a 50% discount on a Press On Research subscription.  And other great content make sure to subscribe here.

One On One Value Investment Coaching/Mentorship Program

One On One Value Investment Coaching/Mentorship Program

Another person signed up for the One on One Value Investment Coaching/Mentorship Program yesterday.  And I wanted to talk about this today since I haven’t much yet.

I’ve alluded to the coaching program in various blog posts.  And talked about the coaching program a bit on the Services I Offer page quoted below.

One on One Value Investment Coaching – This has not officially launched as of today.  But several people are already signed up for this intensive one on one coaching service.  With this program I will teach you everything I know so that you can become an excellent value investor.  Space is limited to only 10 people or companies at any one time.  So if you’re interested in this service please Contact Me.

But its time I talk more about this because space is limited to only 10 people at any time.  And I’ve gotten a lot more coaching/mentorship requests over the last several weeks.

As many of you know I wasn’t able to go to college due to severe health issues that I talked about in 17 Things That Changed My Life.  And had to teach myself everything I know about investing.

While this worked for me it took more than five years to get comfortable with what I was doing.  And I wasted a ton of time wading through useless information.

The main reason I wrote How To Value Invest was to ease this problem.  Help newer value investors learn faster by teaching them the necessities of value investing.  And condensing all this information into one book so they wouldn’t have to scour the near infinite internet alone like I did.

But self learning by books still isn’t best.  Learning with others is always better and faster.

Not only can you ask questions and get feedback on where you need to improve when working with others.  But partners can keep you motivated on days when you don’t want to learn.

This is why I announced the start of the One on One Value Investment Coaching/Mentorship Program a few months ago.

No matter how smart and driven you are; all of us need help and direction when learning.  The more help we get the faster we learn.  The faster we learn the quicker we can begin work towards achieving our goals.  And I’m to the point in my investment journey that I can help now.

This is what the One on One Value Investment Coaching/Mentorship Program is all about.

I’m offering to help any and all who want to learn to become great value investors faster.  Anything from full access for an entire year to a few hours of coaching.  The program is tailored to whatever your needs are.

If you have limited knowledge of finance and investment related terms.  But have the goal of finding, analyzing, and buying companies on your own you may want to do the year program which allows full access to me through email.  Skype.  And phone calls.

If you have a base knowledge of investment terms you may want to opt for 5 – 20 hours of coaching with more limited access through email only for feedback.

I will work with you on whatever is best for you and your goals.  Consider how fast you want to learn.  And how much you want to/can pay.

And speaking of pay, even the most in-depth program is still far cheaper than going to college for years.  Where you’ll spend tens of thousands of dollars to get a degree that won’t help you evaluate companies for investment.

Programs range in price from a few hundred dollars to $10,000 at the high-end if you sign up for a full year.

But like I’ve said throughout this post…  Everything is tailored to your needs.  And I won’t push you to sign up for a full year if you don’t need it.

Even if you just want to go hour by hour I’m fine with that.

Below is an example of one month of coaching I put together for one client.

Value Investing Coaching Schedule

Another client had more knowledge and just wants me to critique and give feedback on individual company analysis case study style.

If you’ve got further questions or are interested in the program and would like a quote specific to your needs contact me at with information about your knowledge level.  Goals.  Timeframe.  And budget.

And remember space is limited to only 10 people at any one time.  So right now only nine spaces remain open.

Weekend Upgrades – Improve How You Think, Invest, and Live #6

Weekend Upgrades – Improve How You Think, Invest, and Live #6

I haven’t done one of these in a while because I’ve posted a lot on Twitter and Quora.  And have written other posts like the Famous Failures series and Who Do You Want To Become?

I’ve been working on my biggest post ever that I hope to have finished by next week.  And finding the next Press On Research pick so we’re back to Weekend Upgrades this week.

Ian Cassel Of MicroCapClub Interviews Professor Sanjay Bakshi – one of my personal investment heroes.  If you’ve followed this blog for a while you know how much I love Sanjay Bakshi’s teachings and how much I’ve learned from him.

Other great things linked in this interview:

If you can’t tell, I think the interview – and all the other links in the interview – are gold.

AB InBev’s Hard Nosed King of Beers Part 1.

AB InBev’s Hard Nosed King of Beers Part 2.

One of my favorite business books I’ve ever read is Dream Big – The Story of 3G Capital.  And Anheuser Busch – owned by AB InBev – is the focus of the articles above.

Malcolm Gladwell On What Makes People Really Disruptive.

Markel Corporation at $800 a Share – Analysis Via Rational Walk.

25 Books That Will Teach You The Most Powerful Leadership Lessons Ever.

How Do People Learn The Fastest.


Don’t forget, if you want to receive three free gifts that will help you evaluate companies faster.  Get all future blog posts. Get future case study information first.  And be entered to win four prizes valued at $100, subscribe at this link.