25iq

My views on the market, tech, and everything else

A Dozen Things I’ve Learned About Investing From Peter Lynch

  1. “Nobody can predict interest rates, the future direction of the economy, or the stock market.  Dismiss all such forecasts and concentrate on what’s actually happening to the companies in which you’ve invested.” It is far more productive for an investor to focus their time and energy on systems which are potentially understandable in a way which might reveal a mispriced asset. George Soros said once: “Unfortunately, the more […]

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A Dozen Things I‘ve Learned About Technology Investing

1. “Payoffs from research are from Extremistan; they follow a power-law type of statistical distribution, with big, near-unlimited upside but, because of optionality, limited downside.” Nassim Taleb.  http://www.amazon.com/Antifragile-Things-That-Gain-Disorder/dp/1400067820/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1372633921&sr=8-1&keywords=antifragile    Valuing a technology company is uniquely hard.  The probability of any company encountering a positive or negative Black Swan is impossible to compute since you can’t assign a probability to an unknown “future state.” It is simply not mathematically possible. And […]

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A Dozen Things I’ve Learned About Investing from Daniel Kahneman

1.            “Many individual investors lose consistently by trading, an achievement that a dart-throwing chimp could not match.” Leonard the Wonder Monkey will beat a muppet in an investing contest.  Not only will muppets lose to a dart throwing monkey, they will do worse than chance would dictate, especially after fees because of certain behavioral biases.   2.            “Few stock pickers, if any, have the skill needed to beat the market consistently, […]

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A Dozen Things I’ve Learned From Seth Klarman

1. “Few are willing and able to devote sufficient time and effort to become value investors, and only a fraction of those have the proper mind-set to succeed.” A tiny number of hard working and emotionally disciplined people who understand how to value a business can earn financial returns that are better than the market. It is highly unlikely that you are one of those people, but it is possible. […]

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A Dozen Things I’ve Learned From Michael Mauboussin About Investing

1.      “The only certainty is that there is no certainty… With uncertainty, the underlying distribution of outcomes is undefined, while with risk we know what that distribution looks like. Corporate undulation is uncertain; roulette is risky…” There is no single number which can be used to predict the future price of an investment because the future is not only risky (like roulette) but uncertain (unknown unknowns). There are known future […]

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A DOZEN THINGS I HAVE LEARNED ABOUT VENTURE CAPITAL

1.  “The problem is that extraordinary performance comes only from correct non-consensus forecasts, but non-consensus forecasts are hard to make, hard to make correctly and hard to act on.”  Howard Marks.  http://www.go2cio.com/quote/index.php?page=50   Humans are terrible forecasters for many reasons explained by behavioral economics, not the least of which is that we often see false patterns and ascribe false meaning to them.   Having great pattern recognition skill is critical in venture […]

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A Dozen Things I’ve Learned About the Psychology of Investing

“The best example of narrow framing that I can think of is the use of pro forma earnings. Essentially this is a company turning up and saying, hello I’m lying to you, these are the earnings I didn’t make, but I’d be jolly grateful if we could all just pretend I did.”  (Framing bias) James Montier  http://www.investmentpostcards.com/2010/03/11/interview-james-montier-on-value-investing/  Our brains only have so much cognitive capacity so humans suffer from in-attentional […]

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A DOZEN THINGS I’VE LEARNED ABOUT INVESTING

1. “[At a horse racing track people make] bets and the odds change based on what’s bet. That’s what happens in the stock market.” Charlie Munger.  http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2012/02/a-lesson-on-elementary-worldly-wisdom-as-it-relates-to-investment-management-business/    Betting on a horse which is the favorite or a longshot may or not be a good bet. What matters is whether the bet is *mispriced* in your favor. Stocks are exactly the same.  The stock market is *often* efficient, but it is not […]

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A DOZEN THINGS I’VE LEARNED ABOUT BUSINESS

1.“If you play [your competitor’s] game, you lose every time.” Allan Benton. http://www.esquire.com/features/what-ive-learned/allan-benton-interview-0909 This quotation to me is all about moats and sustainable differentiation.  If you haven’t read Warren Buffett, Michael Porter and Michael Mauboussin about “moats/sustainable competitive advantage,” well, you are missing out in a huge way. 2.“Listen, business is easy. If you’ve got a low downside and a big upside, you go do it. If you’ve got a big […]

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“Wholesale Transfer Pricing” and the “Free Parking” Business Model

As part of the discussion of my previous post on the “free parking” business model, a reader asked for a blog post on “wholesale transfer pricing.” The rise of free parking as a business model has made wholesale transfer pricing more important than ever. Wholesale transfer pricing power is a term I heard John Malone use in a conference room circa 1995.  You won’t find the term in textbooks.  Simply put: Wholesale transfer pricing =  the bargaining […]

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