Weekend readings - 30 Apr, 2021 : Edition 39
A compilation of few interesting, multi-disciplinary reading links from the internet
“90% of what passes for brilliance or incompetence in investing is the ebb and flow of investment style.” —Jeremy Grantham
Section 1 - Investing & Personal Finance
(a) It is unlikely that you can make money in long equities unless you are by nature, a supremely optimistic person. But the pendulum in the market and in our minds vary from extreme pessimism to extreme optimism. This post by Morgan Housel talks about different shades in life on the P/O scale which is very well true for markets and our investing as well. Key as always is to go with the flow.
Section 2 - Economic Trends & Themes
(a) Nifty metal index have been the clear winner over the past 4 months with close to 50% gains. Many commodities like Copper and Iron ore are hitting multi-year highs. But Lumber prices have skyrocketed with over 230% + gains since Covid-19 pandemic begin. This Bloomberg Odd Lot podcast details how this became an obsession…thanks to a combination of factors, including diminished sawmill capacity, a renovation boom, and then a homebuilding boom. There are some trading nuggets to trade these kind of illquid commodities by a lumber trader himself in the podcast. It is great way to understand the interplay between human nature and macroeconomics.
(b) Smartphone cameras have invaded our lives but sophisticated cameras in wildlife photography is an important aspect of conservation, raising awareness of the plight of our natural world. Historically, the genre was considered quaint. But things have changed, and it is appreciated now as an important art form. This article demonstrates how technology has allowed wildlife photography to progress from where it once was. Cool pictures accompany the article!
Section 3 - Personality study & Development
(a) It is important to have the necessity of holding opposing ideas. Here is one such idea: reading slow, but fast. This article argues that slowly reading a book - taking breaks to ponder, to question, to connect ideas, and to refer - is the best way to read a book. However, it also argues that you need to speed read a book. Confused? Read the article to find how you can read slow but fast. It'll also provide some speed reading techniques towards the end. (h/t @tejas)
(b) To become the best possible money manager, you should invest time in acquiring ‘useless knowledge’. The type of knowledge that does not directly enhance the bottom line, but enlightens the individual. This piece articulates the importance of acquiring this to create a thoughtful and reflective mind. Bonus : The article ends with a Steve Jobs interview extract to stress on the point!
Section 4 - Business History & management
(a) Wirecard debacle last year, as revealed in the Financial Times, was fascinating for accounting shenanigans as the company produced little cash profit, despite declaring large amounts of earnings. In markets, companies that seem very profitable will always interest stock pickers. However, it is absolutely critical to filter them out with discipline in the investment journey. This DW documentary released last week on the infamous case tells the story of the financial scandal from the perspective of the short sellers, stock traders who bet that prices will fall and manage to gain when everyone else is losing. For years, short sellers around the world recognized that fraud was taking place at Wirecard and they knew it would someday be uncovered. Even in the face of criticism from the authorities and the company, the short sellers turned out to be right. A must watch this weekend!
(b) Vimeo is a 16-yr old video platform. Despite being starting out as competitor to Youtube, it has now created a niche in the last few years. Contributing in developing its niche is Anjali Sud who joined 6-years ago to revamp the company against the onslaught of OTT apps and the presence of older platforms of Netflix, FB and YT. This piece tell us how Vimeo want to help businesses and professionals create video content and get it wherever their audience or their customers or their employees are!
Section 5 - Reading & Entertainment
(a) It’s been a year since we lost actor Irrfan Khan. It was overwhelming to see the outpouring of grief when he passed away during lockdown. Everyone was posting condolences everywhere but for ordinary people like us, it felt like we lost somebody in our family. That was the connection of the man. This article by Film companion articulates his journey in films as an actor. You will be missed, Sir!
I am happy to share that we are launching a 'Special situation portfolio' on the Smallcase platform. The portfolio will be live by end of next week. I will also be sharing the blogs pertaining to the investment in this theme over next few days. Happy investing!
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Now Listening : Seene mein Jalan | Suresh Wadkar
That's it for me. Have a great weekend ahead. Stay safe and mask up!
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