My views on the market, tech, and everything else


A Dozen Things Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger Learned From See’s Candies

This is my 200th blog post. I thought it would be most fitting given the milestone to write about a topic related to Munger and Buffett. One of the most important decisions in the history of Berkshire was the acquisition of See’s Candies in 1972. Buffett has called See’s Candies “the prototype of a dream business.”  Berkshire’s purchase of a boxed candy business founded by the See family in California […]

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Why Moats are Essential for Profitability (Restaurant Edition)

  Investing is about owning a partial stake in a real business. You must understand whether the actual businesses in which you own stock earns a return on capital to be a successful investor. The more different types of businesses you understand in this way, the more skill you will acquire in understanding another new business. The point I am making explains why Warren Buffett says: “I am a better investor […]

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A Half Dozen Reasons Why Venture Capitalists Prefer Missionaries to Mercenaries

  1.Mark Cuban: “Don’t start a company unless it’s an obsession and something you love. If you have an exit strategy, it’s not an obsession.” No one should start a business if they are not obsessively committed to the mission of that business. Genuine obsession and passion are highly valuable since making the business a success will require overcoming significant obstacles. My most interesting experience with being obsessively committed to […]

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Why Investors Must Be Contrarians to Outperform The Market

Bill Gurley: “Being ‘right’ doesn’t lead to superior performance if the consensus forecast is also right.” Andy Rachleff elaborates on the point made by Gurley: “What most people don’t realize is if you’re right and consensus you don’t make money.” It is a bit strange that most people don’t realize this truth and yet it is common sense: you simply can’t be part of the crowd and at the same […]

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A Dozen Things I’ve Learned about Multi-sided Markets (Platforms)

Multi-sided markets bring together two or more interdependent groups who need each other in some way. Uber, eBay, and Airbnb are all multi-sided markets. A multi-sided market is sometimes called a “platform.” Hundreds of big and small firms fail trying to create multi-sided markets in different categories every year. Since the payoff from creating a significant multi-sided markets is so massive and the financial downside relatively small, founders and venture […]

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A Half Dozen Things I’ve Learned from Robert Cialdini’s book “Influence”

  Professor Robert Cialdini first published his best-selling book Influence in 1984. Charlie Munger liked the book so much he sent Cialdini a thank you note and a share of Berkshire A stock then worth $75,000. Munger said in his famous The Psychology of Human Misjudgment speech at Harvard: “Cialdini does a magnificent job and you’re all going to be given a copy of Cialdini’s book. And if you have […]

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A Dozen Things You can Learn by Reading “The Success Equation” by Michael Mauboussin

Asking me to select my favorite book written by Michael Mauboussin is like asking me to pick my favorite child. I love them all the same. But if I had to choose one book it would probably be The Success Equation. There are lot of reviews of this book, all of them glowingly positive. The world doesn’t need another review of this great book so I will try to write […]

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A Dozen Ways You Can Use Seth Klarman’s “Margin of Safety” Approach When Voting

When you cast a vote you are making an investment. You should vote using a sound process, just as you should use a sound process when investing. Having a sound decision making process means reading a lot and talking to people you trust who have good judgment before making a decision. When it comes to a decision about a particular candidate in an election I would frankly rather read a […]

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