Great Reads from around the World Wide Web

“I just sit in my office and read all day.”  Buffett

“You could hardly find a partnership in which two people settle on reading more hours of the day than in ours.”  Munger.

“I have gotten paid a lot over the years for reading through the newspapers.”  Munger

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There’s a lot of tabloid-ish press in the financial papers these days.  I think the WSJ has a list of about 30 companies it covers and that’s it–circle of competence?  I thought I would share a few stories I have found interesting over the past week or so. Some articles, however, may be a little dated…But if we don’t learn from history…

The Banker who said No. Great article on Andrew Beal.  There isn’t a lot of information out there about his bank because it is private, but this article is a great example of a patient investor who chose not to run with the herd.  (Forbes)

This interview with Buffett on Wells Fargo is what makes Buffett so great.  He distills Wells Fargo’s advantages down to a few simple, easy to understand points.  If you notice the date on the article, it is perhaps the trough of the stock market during the credit crisis.   (Fortune).

Bloomberg article on Corporate Buybacks.  This article highlights the mismatch between executives using a corporation’s cash to buy its stock, but the executives not being willing to do so themselves.   The idea of using a corporation’s cash to make a value-enhancing investment in its own shares that are currently undervalued has slowly morphed into corporate buyback as a form of “shareholder return.”  I am a libertarian at heart, but a general shareholder policy that doesn’t allow the corporation to execute corporate buybacks unless the corporation’s executives participate using their own after-tax cash might be in order.  (Bloomberg)

Great article on a well-known manager who frets about the market, but still outdoes it.  Hint: article from 2007 (NY Times)

The Invention of Professor Dr. Anthony Nobles: This is a great read from Roddy Boyd who does investigative journalism at the Southern Investigative Journalism Foundation.  (Southern Investigative Journalism Foundation)

Freakonomics Podcast: Outsiders.  Discussion of three people who didn’t follow the herd….Gary Becker, Barry Marshall and William Smith.  You have probably heard of all of their discoveries, but their backstory is fairly interesting.  (Freakonomics Podcast)

Sports Fan: Old resume of Tom Brady.  In his message posting the resume he said, “Really thought I ws going to need this after the 5th round.”  Brady was drafted in the 6th round by the New England Patriots and started the season as the fourth quarterback on the depth chart.  The rest is history… (Boston Globe)

 

**I read a SEC filing the other day that was written in 2004, and it made reference to “the tool, commonly referred to as the World Wide Web…”  How times have changed…

More to Explore

Returns for Great vs. Bad Businesses

Munger and The Cattle Rancher

Munger’s ability to find great businesses is directly related to his ability to consistently discard bad businesses. He is excellent at inverting, and discarding the bad businesses as quickly as possible.

The Abominable No-Man and Bad Management

Some investors think a business is good, but know that management is bad.  These investors justify the investment based on the idea that the great price of the business is worth the bad management. This is akin to marrying a supermodel who is going to yell at you all day.  Whatever pleasure your eyes may derive from the marriage, your ears will endure a greater amount of pain in the long run. The pocketbooks of those partnering with bad management are likely to see a similar 50%+ decline in their net worth.

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