Curate or Create?

Should you curate or create? twitter is a great medium for discovery of valuable resources. Someone I follow retweets something that leads me to discover high-value content I did not know existed. The best use-cases for twitter are as a knowledge resource and newsfeed in that order. For a consumer, this ecosystem needs creators, those who develop original content, and curators, those who enable you to discover great content. Most social media presence can be classified into one or the other bucket. Both are of tremendous value to consumers, with stark differences. I’m writing from experience of financial twitter but am comfortable guessing it

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How to fail at almost everything and still win big

How to fail at almost everything and still win big “I find it helpful to see the world as a slot machine that doesn’t ask you to put money in. All it asks is your time, focus, and energy to pull the handle over and over.” – Scott Adams Most autobiographical self-help books on success recommend a “work hard”, “stay focused”, “never give up” doggedness. This book is one of the few that makes a direct reference to the role of luck in living a successful life. The typical tone of self-help books “I have it all figured out so

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How to Get Lucky

It isn’t enough just to be good. You’ve got to be lucky, too. This is the central premise of Max Gunther’s book “How to get lucky”. I first came across this author when reading “The Zurich Axioms“, a set of investing rules followed by Swiss Bankers to manage risk and reward. It starts with this comforting idea that we fall short of our goals largely because of a lack of luck. That we deny the role of luck when successful only speaks to our susceptibility to survivorship bias. And yet, according to Max, luck, in gambling, career, love, friendships and even

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Learning to invest vs Investing to learn

Learning to Drive You’re on a fairly empty side-street, your cousin, an experienced driver next to you, in the passenger seat. It is her 8-year-old Fiat Punto, but the make or model doesn’t matter to you, just that it’s a functioning car. You don’t know if you will enjoy driving, but you want to be able to. You don’t know if your cousin is the “best” driver around, but you know she’s been driving for a few years and you trust her. She instructs you step-by-step to first push the brake, turn the key in the ignition, press down on

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Investing and Life, Balance Sheets matter over Income Statements

How do you follow your investments? If you’re like a lot of people, you keenly await quarterly earnings announcements to track projected versus actual growth in Sales, EBITDA, Net Profit, EPS (Earnings per Share). Positive surprises mean high fives for the minor bump up in stock price. Negative surprises are explained with a range of reasons including “delayed project approval”, “rural distress”, “rising raw material prices” and so on. If the reason for the miss makes sense i.e. they seem significant enough that the company couldn’t have done much, you shrug and move on. The problem with Salient-Recency We use a

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12 Axioms of Risk Reward followed by generations of Swiss Bankers

How is it that Switzerland, a tiny country, poor in natural resources and arable land, has one of the highest per capita incomes and standards of living in the world? This is the enticing premise with which Max Gunther opens his book The Zurich Axioms: The rules of risk and reward used by generations of Swiss bankers “The Swiss did not become the world’s bankers by sitting in dark rooms chewing their fingernails. They did it by facing risk head-on and figuring out how to manage it.” And therefore, the author says, there is a lot to learn about how

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The power of compounding and how it applies to a better life

“What if you didn’t define wealth by money, success or satisfaction, but simply by the number of great people in your life?” A question put forth by Peter Attia, M.D. in his podcast “How to live a longer, higher quality life” on the excellent investment blog “The Investor’s field guide” by Patrick O’Shaughnessy. The conversation goes on to link the simple yet powerful investing concept of compounding with living a better quality of life. Read on for the highlights of a wide-ranging conversation. So you want to live a long life? “Never try to solve a complicated problem without explicitly stating your objective, your

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10 insights from HBO’s 2017 ‘Becoming Warren Buffett’ we hadn’t heard before

HBO released a documentary ‘Becoming Warren Buffett’, on the legendary investor earlier this year. It’s an almost intimate portrait of the most-quoted investor in the world. Worth the 1h 28mins. And summarized below, some of the more insightful  (and less often heard) nuggets providing insight into the man, and not just the investor. 10. On learning from the past: Decorated his office with framed old newspapers from the local library of days of massive market crashes. He calls it “instructive art” that reminds him and everyone in the building that “in the markets, anything can happen” 9. On the circle of competence: “Investing

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