Here is your weekly Saturday newsletter, where I share the latest updates from the site, an idea worth thinking about, few stories you shouldn’t miss, and a question for you. Let’s get started.
On SN This Week
In his book, The Education of a Value Investor, Guy Spier writes about a story of one Ian Jacobs, a Columbia Business School graduate who successfully applied for a job with Warren Buffett. Along with his cover letter, Jacobs enclosed a cheque to compensate Buffett for his time in evaluating this job application. Jacobs’s cheque showed how much he respected the value of Buffett’s time. Guy writes –
The key, in my experience, is to value people as an end in themselves, not as a means to our own ends. Mohnish (Pabrai) often quotes a beautiful line from the Bible, “I am but dust and ashes.”
Thanks in large part to Mohnish and Warren, I began to realize that I ought to focus more on what others need from me instead of constantly trying to get them to fulfill my own needs. This might sound obvious, but it’s been a huge psychological shift for me, and it’s really changed the way that I live my life.
This is so unlike what happens in the financial services industry where people selfishly work for their own incentives, others be damned! And this is one of the key reasons for my disgust with this industry.
It is important to see and treat people not as ladders on which one must climb to achieve one’s personal success, but as part of a wonderful ecosystem where one can survive and prosper only when others survive and prosper.
Like here is what Buffett has a key part of his Owner’s Manual –
We will be candid in our reporting to you, emphasizing the pluses and minuses important in appraising business value. Our guideline is to tell you the business facts that we would want to know if our positions were reversed. We owe you no less.
In other words, Buffett treats shareholders and managers in his acquired businesses as he would wish to be treated if the positions were reversed.
This is in fact the Golden Rule or ethic of reciprocity – One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself.
A Few Stories You Shouldn’t Miss
- Warren Buffett and the $300,000 Haircut (WSJ)
- Shit Will Happen. Even in Good Businesses. (Anand Sridharan)
- Alternative Forms of Wealth (Morgan Housel)
- The Purpose of Technology (Balaji Srinivasan)
- The Timing Mistake (Barry Ritholtz)
- The Conscience of Silicon Valley (GQ)
- Why Uber’s Business Model is Doomed (Guardian)
- Could Roger Federer Be As Successful Playing Badminton? (Mckinsey)
- How To Teach Your Children About Stoicism (Daily Stoic)
Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life; dream of it; think of it; live on that idea. Let the brain, the body, muscles, nerves, every part of your body be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success.
~ Swami Vivekananda
Thoughtful investors can toil in obscurity, achieving sold gains in good years and losing less than others in the bad. They avoid sharing in the riskiest behaviour because they’re so aware of how much they don’t know and because they have their egos in check. This, in my opinion, is the greatest formula for long term wealth creation – but it doesn’t provide much ego gratification in the short run.
~ Howard Marks
A Question for You
What are you busy with today? Will this matter 1 year from now? 3 years? 5 years?
That’s about it from me for today.
Have a great weekend.