Note to Readers: In Stream, we suggest worthwhile reading material on a variety of topics, not all of which are directly related to investing. Some of the articles require you to be paid subscriber of those sites. However, it is often possible to read such articles by going to Google News and searching for the article’s title.
Some nice stuff we are reading, watching, and observing at the start of this weekend…
- HBO documentary “Becoming Warren Buffett”…is a documentary about the world’s most famous investor. It was made with the cooperation of Buffett and his family, deals with Buffett the businessman and investor, but it’s Buffett the man and his complicated, and often difficult, relationships with the people he loved most that are the film’s real subject.
…what makes “Becoming Warren Buffett” far more interesting than a simple hagiography is the exploration of Buffett’s personal life, and, in particular, his relationship with his first wife, Susan, who died in 2004. Personal relationships were not something that Buffett navigated naturally. At one point in the movie, he says, “I don’t have a mind that relates to the physical universe very well,” and the same seems to have been true of the emotional universe. Buffett, by his own description, was socially awkward as a kid (he attributes much of his later success to taking a Dale Carnegie public-speaking course as a young man), and the film is a portrait of a person for whom financial questions “are easy,” as Buffett says. “It’s the human problems that are the tough ones.”
- Life is rife with risks. Misperceiving and underestimating these risks can lead to vital mistakes. Therefore, to make well-informed decisions, we need to become comfortable with uncertainty.
The world is complex, and uncertainty is guaranteed. However, multiple factors can make things seem more certain than they actually are. We need to identify and fight against these false markers, even when it makes us uncomfortable.
…Our experience teaches us how to live with the uncertainties of frequently occurring events such as daily variations in the weather or the stock market. But we get anxious about uncertainties when the events are rare and the stakes are high: That’s why most of us panic in the face of a medical mystery, environmental disaster, financial crisis, or a presidential election. It’s also why we prefer leaders and authority figures who pretend to know exactly what to do all the time instead of acknowledging ambiguity.