Monthly Archives: July 2013

“Investors should remember that their scorecard is not computed using Olympic diving methods. Degree-of-difficulty doesn’t count. If you are right about a business whose value is largely dependent on a single key factor that is both easy to understand and enduring, the payoff is the same as if you had correctly analyzed an investment alternative characterized by many constantly shifting and complex variables. The truly big investment idea can usually be explained in a short paragraph.”


“What is REAL?” asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room.  “Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?”

“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse.  “It’s a thing that happens to you.  When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.”

“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.

“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful.  “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”

“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?”

“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse.  “You become.  It takes a long time.  That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept.  Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in your joints and very shabby.  But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

A nice article from the WSJ about the lack of compelling investments at the moment and the pain of holding cash (link)

The author mentions the fact that the king of value investing himself, Warren Buffett is holding “his biggest cash hoard ever” with $49 billion sitting on the books.  That’s a lot of cash but I’d like to see it as a relative measurement (say as a percentage of Berkshire’s assets or investable assets) to get a better sense for how cautious the Oracle really is.

Perhaps my favorite part of the article is when the author alludes to the value of cash over and above its paltry interest rate: it’s optionality.

Mr. de Vaulx adds that cash is dry powder, worth more than people think because it lets him buy cheaply once stocks decline — as overvalued stocks typically do. Like-minded investors realize they may have to wait months or more, as happened in the late 1990s, when broad stock indexes began a surge to record levels that most tech stocks still haven’t seen again. Value investors suffered then but were vindicated when prices collapsed.

This reminds me of a GMO white paper published by James Montier in 2011 – I think its a good time to dust that off and post it here for you, dear reader.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I give you the most boring science experiment ever: The Pitch-Tar Drop.



Earlier this month the decades long experiment came to an exciting, yet expected conclusion – it finally broke off.

The project leaders were quoted as saying “We were all so excited”, “It’s been such a great talking point, with colleagues eager to investigate the mechanics of the break, and the viscosity of the pitch.”

While the impact to the broader scientific community is yet to be determined, one thing is clear: you can make a living for decades by watching tar slowly ooze through a funnel.

Source: Business Insider

This is one of the coolest infographics I’ve seen in awhile – it’s officially called “The Conversation Prism 4.0”.  Still not sure what you’re looking at?  Well…

Developed in 2008 by Brian Solis, The Conversation Prism is a visual map of the social media landscape. It’s an ongoing study in digital ethnography that tracks dominant and promising social networks and organizes them by how they’re used in everyday life.



Found via: Cool Infographics