Business, Investing, Learning, Weekly round-up

Weekly market round-up: 2 November 2015

We all know people who’ve flunked, and they try and memorize and they try and spout back. It just doesn’t work. The brain doesn’t work that way. You’ve got to array facts on the theory structures answering the question ‘Why?’ If you don’t do that, you just cannot handle the world.”
– Charlie Munger


Northrop Gets Defense Lifeline in $80 Billion Bomber Contest
Smallest suitor wins biggest warplane contract this decade.

Tesla’s self-driving car is already getting smarter
When one car learns something, all learn

The Poundland principle: Boss of cut-price chain discusses why budget shopping is here to stay and how he plans to bring it to the internet
Suppliers, he says, became reluctant to sell goods to 99p Stores, and credit insurers – which provide protection to suppliers against unpaid bills – were refusing to offer cover.”


Forget the 99p Store, woman opens up shop where most of her stock is just 25 PENCE
Most of what we sell is stuff that’s coming up to its sell-by date, but that’s not the same as its expiry date.”

Bill Ackman Takes Over Valeant’s Defense
“And so you can think coldly and dispassionately about companies that look scandalous. You can say: This scandal looks bad, and may lead to fines, but even after the fines and the clean-up, there is a good business here. The net present value of the business, minus the net present value of the fines, is still greater than the market price. There is no such thing as a toxic asset; assets are toxic or attractive based on their price.”


Charlie Munger Isn’t Done Bashing Valeant
Munger’s stance has extra significance, because some of the drugmaker’s largest shareholders follow the style of investing that he and Buffett, 85, popularized.”


Truck Stocks Plunge as Factory Slowdown Seen Curbing Cargo
They’re all going down because of what UPS said about their recent truck volume and disappointing preliminary revenue of Roadrunner.”

Brits are using higher wages to pay off credit card debt
British households are using higher wages to pay off their credit card debts, rather than relying on the plastic for their shopping, in the latest sign that the economy is performing well.

Knowledge Point’ black cab driver training school to close
We’re going to be brushed aside. Demand has gone down since Uber arrived. Usually we have 350 students enrolling a year, last year it was 200.


An Interview With Mario Gabelli: Masters in Business
Bloomberg View columnist Barry Ritholtz interviews Mario J. Gabelli, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of GAMCO Investors, Inc., the firm he founded in 1977. They discuss the art of investing.”

Long reads

Luke Skywalker, Sith Lord
One evening, while geeking out with my daughters I decided to share a theory I had with them about Star Wars — specifically Return of the Jedi: Luke Skywalker turned to the Dark Side at the end of the trilogy.”

Graph of the week

Four Charts That Show Why MTN’s Nigerian Fine Matters So Much

Business, Investing, Learning, Weekly round-up

Weekly market round-up: 26 October 2015

Risk means more things can happen than will happen.
– Elroy Dimson


World Lego shortage could spell Christmas disappointment as Danish company claims sales are outstripping production

MTN Nigeria fined $5.2bn by Nigerian regulator
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has slapped MTN Nigeria with a $5.2bn penalty for the disconnection of 5.1-million of its subscribers, the regulator said on Monday. The group said the fine “relates to the timing” of the disconnection.

Apple Music Has 6.5 Million Paying Subscribers
It’s going really well,” Cook said. “We are now over 6.5 million paid users and 8.3 million people in the trial. Over 15 million people are using Apple Music.” (Spotify has 20 million subscribers after a much longer time).

Theranos’ Scandal Exposes the Problem With Tech’s Hype Cycle
A months-long investigation by the Journal found that, for the bulk of its blood tests, Theranos has not actually been using its own technology, which the company has claimed are capable of running tests with only a few drops of blood. Instead, it’s been relying on traditional machines from companies like Siemens.


Oil ebbs, but they still seek the flow
Instead of pipelines full and producers competing for space, you have pipelines empty and competing for producers,

Bernie Sanders’s Highly Sensible Plan to Turn Post Offices Into Banks
They’re much less crazy than payday-lending services, and the rest of the world agrees.


Howard Marks | An Evening with Howard Marks, Chairman of Oaktree

Long reads

Nobody Cares How Hard You Work
Psychologists have long noticed what’s sometimes been called the “labor illusion:” when it comes to judging other people’s work, we might say we’re focused only on whether they did the job quickly and well—but really we want to feel they wore themselves out for us.

Thresholds of Violence
Granovetterian progression… the longer a riot goes on, the less the people who join it resemble the people who started it.

Graph of the week

A Timeline of Some of The Best Investment Books


Business, Investing, Learning, Weekly round-up

Weekly market round-up: 5 October 2015

“An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.”
 – Ben Franklin


Revisiting Icahn’s Apple Call After the Correction
If Apple never came out with another successful product, its current portfolio alone would make it attractive as a value stock. At these valuations, there isn’t exactly a lot of optimism built into the share price.”

Rolls-Royce cutting 400 more jobs from marine division
The firm expects the cuts will generate full year savings of £40m. Investment into research and development will be stepped up.”

Glencore shares up on talk of sale of agriculture business
Shares were up 19.6 per cent in late afternoon trading after shooting 72 per cent higher at one point.”


Lord Adonis to resign Labour whip and chair George Osborne’s infrastructure body
the appointment of Adonis was designed to take the politics out of infrastructure projects as the government seeks to create a permanent and wide-ranging body

A Tax to Curb Excessive Trading Could Be a Boon to Returns
There are all sorts of ways that this tax may cost many investors money in the long run. But considering its potential virtues, it is a useful exercise because it’s akin to a sin tax. Trading too much hurts returns and is extremely hazardous to our wealth, and the less we do of it, the better off most of us will be.


A Dozen Things I’ve Learned from Charlie Munger about Capital Allocation
There are two kinds of businesses: The first earns 12%, and you can take it out at the end of the year. The second earns 12%, but all the excess cash must be reinvested — there’s never any cash. It reminds me of the guy who looks at all of his equipment and says, ‘There’s all of my profit.’ We hate that kind of business.”

Unique Insights From Dinner With An $8 Billion Investor
“…the appetite, the dedication, the discipline and the motivation.”

Long reads

Norway’s Doctors Still Use Floppy Disks, And They’re More Secure Than the Alternative

Words used in tweets can offer insight into how much money you make
Lower-income users or those of a lower socioeconomic status use Twitter more as a communication means among themselves,” Preoţiuc-Pietro said in a statement. “High-income people use it more to disseminate news, and they use it more professionally than personally.”

Basically, It’s Over: A Parable About How One Nation Came To Financial Ruin
An excellent parable by Charlie Munger on how one nation came to financial ruin.”

Graph of the week

Population without health insurance coverage by state: 2013 and 2014

Source: US census
Source: US census
Business, Investing, Learning, Weekly round-up

Weekly market round-up: 21 September 2015

It’s not supposed to be easy. Anyone who finds it easy is stupid.”
– Charlie Munger


Volkswagen’s Game of Make-Believe
The company inserted a device into almost 500,000 cars meant to trick emissions testing, the EPA says.”

The AB InBev – SABMiller Merger Isn’t Happening
“…paying a premium to buy out SABMiller for its African exposure to then potentially dump its American assets at fire-sale prices would seem like an odd strategy.”

McRevolt: The Frustrating Life of the McDonald’s Franchisee
Even with two drive-thru lanes, the lines built up again as employees scrambled to make skinny vanilla McLattes


Patterned By Birth
We are children of the bull market, and our psychology cannot help be patterned by our birth.”


Howard Marks memo – It’s Not Easy
In my view, this is a good part of the basis for Charlie’s comment: anyone who thinks it’s easy to achieve unusual profits is overlooking the way markets operate.

Sanjay Bakshi on Reading, Mental Models, Worldly Wisdom, and Investing
“Sanjay is one of India’s best-recognised finance professors”

Long reads

The Blob in the Northeast Pacific Ocean
Why are normally foreign creatures swimming North America’s west coast waters this summer?”

Graph of the week

20 Cognitive Biases That Affect Your Decision-Making