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A Short Guide to Reading and Learning for Investors

I had written a lengthy post in 2015 on the subject of required reading for investors, which also included thoughts from Prof. Sanjay Bakshi and my own reading spectrum.

This latest post is an update on the same and includes my revised reading spectrum (not a major change over last time, but some meaningful additions).

For a change, I am not writing much in today’s post and would rather let the following two illustrations do the talking (Click on the images below to download them in large size).

The core idea is that, in true pursuit of wisdom in investing and life, we must read much more of what has endured over time (like supertexts, history, biographies, etc.) than what is ephemeral (like newspapers etc.)

Reading Spectrum - Safal Niveshak

Wisdom Tree - Safal Niveshak

I will end with a thought from Elon Musk on how to learn things deeper. Musk answered this to a question on how he does that himself –

It is important to view knowledge as sort of a semantic tree — make sure you understand the fundamental principles, i.e. the trunk and big branches, before you get into the leaves/details or there is nothing for them to hang onto.

You see, often it happens that we want to dive into the deep end before we learn how to swim. So when you want to learn a new subject, identify the fundamental principles first – the trunk and big branches. Learn those things first and deep, and you’ll be able to figure out the leaves and figs – mostly noise – much easier.

Finally, use the Feynman Technique when you want to learn something clearer and deeper…

Feynman Technique - Safal Niveshak

Let me know your thoughts on these illustrations in the Comments section of this post, and a few of the supertexts – on investing, human, behavior, thinking, learning, etc. – that you think others and I must read and that are not covered above.

A Guide to Reading for Investors (Plus, What Prof. Sanjay Bakshi Reads)

Note: This article formed part of the April 2015 Special Report that I recently sent to subscribers of my premium newsletter Value Investing Almanack. If you wish to read similar premium posts in the future, I invite you subscribe to the Almanack. Click here to subscribe.

“I do not take a single newspaper, nor read one a month, and I feel myself infinitely happier for it. The man who reads nothing at all is better informed than the man who reads nothing but newspapers.” ~ Thomas Jefferson

Long time readers of Safal Niveshak blog and attendees to my investing workshops know my dislike for reading newspapers. The dislike is so deep that I’ve not had a newspaper subscription at my home for the past six years now, and neither do I consume news via electronic media. This also holds true of business television which I watch very occasionally and only when I want to get a hearty laugh and there’s nothing else that’s as funny on television at that time.

Now, one big reason I do not read newspapers is because I have a big problem with the fact that they decide for us what we should pay attention to and what we should ignore. It isn’t just the text of a news story that can mislead us; it’s also the choice of which stories get covered at all, and where they’re placed in the paper.

[Read more…]

Sunday Afternoon Reads

A few interesting items for your reading pleasure:

  • Good read. A secret about the financial media you won’t see anywhere else (The Daily Crux)
  • Hmm. The $ Cost of 9/11 (The Big Picture)
  • Good read. September shapes up as a chilly month for equities (Financial Times)
  • Anna Hazare listening? Salaries of MP politicos zoomed 900% in 15 years (The Economic Times)
  • Oops! CAG flays RIL, but top brokerages say ‘stock ripe for picking’ (Moneycontrol)
  • Funny! Sensex could surge past 23,000 in one year: Reliance MF (The Economic Times)

What are you reading?

Tuesday Morning Reads

A few interesting items for your reading pleasure:

What are you reading?

Wednesday Morning Reads

A few interesting items for your reading pleasure:

  • Oh-ho! ‘India least favoured equity market in emerging economies’ (The Economic Times)
  • Just do it! Cohan Says Close Wall Street Casino Cut Pay In Half (The Big Picture)
  • Nice read. Authenticity (The Big Picture )
  • Wow! Gold’s climb is perfectly rational (CNN Money)
  • Hmm. The moral decay of our society is as bad at the top as the Bottom (The Telegraph)
  • ’Fine’ art of corruption. DLF fined Rs 630 cr for unfair practices, realty reels under shocks (The Economic Times)
  • Nice read. Breaking and entering (Mint)
  • Ouch! Jim Rogers: Higher food prices will spark riots soon (Moneynews)

What are you reading?

Tuesday Morning Reads

Here’s what I’m reading this Tuesday morning that might interest you:

  • Is this ‘news’? Sebi probe shows rise in dirty money in stock market (The Economic Times)
  • Old tricks! The Mutual Fund Industry Is A Huge Scam That Costs Investors Billions Of Dollars A Year (Business Insider)
  • Contrarian call. The case against gold (Moneynews)
  • Stocks on sale? Buffett Made Biggest Bets on Stocks This Year (Bloomberg)
  • Hmm. Wall Street’s new lie to Main Street – Asset Allocation (Blog Maverick)
  • Nice read. Ending the Moral Rot on Wall Street, Part 2 (Bloomberg)
  • Wise man speaks. Stop Coddling the Super-Rich: Warren Buffett (The New York Times)
  • Hmm. The cost of West’s mistakes (Mint)

What are you reading?

Monday Morning Reads

A very Happy Independence Day to the Indian readers of Safal Niveshak!

Here are a few interesting items for your reading pleasure:

What are you reading?

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Friday Morning Reads

A few interesting items for your reading pleasure:

  • The master speaks! Buffett: The lower stocks go, the more I buy (CNN Money)
  • Nice chart. Economic Expansions and Recessions (The Big Picture)
  • Good read. ‘Too big to fail’ is too dumb an idea to keep (John Kay)
  • Reality bites. Realty to suffer if lending rate doesn’t fall: DLF (The Economic Times)
  • Oops! Double Depression (The Daily Reckoning)
  • Hmm. US may avoid double-dip recession if Fed intervenes; it’s buying opportunity in India: Mark Mobius (The Economic Times)

What are you reading?