Charlie Munger

Being Cheap, Best of Munger, a Rare Bezos Interview, and Other Links

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I was catching up on some links and articles this weekend. Sometimes, things that are interesting but not time sensitive get pushed to the back burner. In these cases, I sometimes create a file filled with things that I’d like to read and the early morning Saturday hours are sometimes a good time to catch up on these things. Anyhow, here are some things I’ve read recently that I read that I thought readers might be interested in taking a […]

General Thoughts

A Few Thoughts on Reducing Unforced Errors

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This weekend I came across a link to an excellent Manual of Ideas interview with Allan Mecham that I’ve read before, but I decided to read through it again. There are a few key points that Mecham brings up that I think are really worth repeating, so I thought I’d highlight them here. Investing is not easy, but it should be simplistic. Here are some points worth keeping in mind: Understand What You Are Buying The first is the concept of understanding a […]

General Thoughts

Walking, Thinking, and Investing

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I just came across an article I just read that I thought was interesting, and thought certain readers might enjoy. Although the article has nothing directly to do with investing, I think there are some takeaways for those of us in the investment world. Certainly the article has relevance to anyone whose chosen endeavor requires the occasional deep thinking. The article is called “Why Walking Helps Us Think”. The article—as you probably guessed from the self-explanatory title—describes the benefit of […]

General Thoughts

The Stock Market: A Look at the Last 200 Years

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I spend virtually zero energy thinking about the overall stock market. I’m always aware of what the indices are doing, but I really don’t pay attention to where I think they are headed or where they’ve been recently. As Munger has said, sometimes the tide will be with us and sometimes it will be against us, but the best thing to do is to just continue to focus on swimming forward. I think this has been going on for well […]

General Thoughts

Macroeconomics & NBA Free Agency: Important, but not Knowable

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“I don’t think about the macro stuff. What you really want to do with investments, is think about what’s important and what’s knowable. Understanding Coke or Wrigley is knowable… but we have never bought a business or not bought a business because of any macro feeling of any kind… We don’t want to pass up the chance to do something intelligent because of some prediction about something that we’re no good at anyway.” – Warren Buffett, 1998 at the University […]

Case Studies

The Importance of Pricing Power

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“The single most important decision in evaluating a business is pricing power. If you’ve got the power to raise prices without losing business to a competitor, you’ve got a very good business. And if you have to have a prayer session before raising the price by 10 percent, then you’ve got a terrible business.” –Warren Buffett, 2011 (Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission) I wrote a post about Amazon a couple weeks ago. I don’t own it, and I don’t really know […]

General Thoughts

Thoughts on Ted Weschler’s Largest Holding and Excellent Long Term Results

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“I found that the entire fund industry worked a certain way, and that their results reflected the mediocre way in which they operated.” – Mohnish Pabrai, recalling an important discovery he made at the outset of his investment career I’ve mentioned before that I keep a list of investors who I’ve studied that have achieved long term returns (over a decade or preferably longer) of 20-30%+ annual returns. It’s a relatively small list, but it is larger than you might […]

General Thoughts

Thoughts on Return on Capital and Greenblatt’s Magic Formula Part 1

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I recently watched a video of Joel Greenblatt with Morningstar. Most of the video discusses the index approach to investing using a value weight (as opposed to equal weight or market weight, which most indexes use). I’m not that interested in indexing, although for individuals who want completely passive exposure to stocks, value weighting certainly makes much more sense to me than market weighting (because market weighting systematically buys more of a stock as it goes up, thus forcing you […]

General Thoughts

Thoughts on Value and Growth

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I wrote a few posts on “quality” recently, which has sparked a few emails, comments, and questions on the overall investment philosophy. I got to thinking about the interplay between quality and valuation, and thought of Buffett’s shareholder letter in the early 1990’s where he said “value and growth are joined at the hip”. Essentially, value is determined by what you return on your initial investment. This is fairly obvious, but I thought I’d point this out… This “investor return” […]

General Thoughts

“Magic Formula” and Other Quantitative Results from 2013–Should the Computers Takeover?

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Let me say that the following few sentences only represent my humble opinion. There are many smart, talented, and successful practitioners that participate in the field that I am about to comment on… (Editor side note: unlike many who take pride in saying things such as “I tell it like it is”, or “I don’t care what others think”… I happen to dislike offending others and I do care what others think, but evidently I’m in the minority here. I […]