Weekend Readings - 8th Jan, 2021 : Edition 23
A compilation of few interesting, multi-disciplinary reading links from the internet
Section 1 - Investing & Personal Finance
(a) A GMO newsletter by Jeremy Grantham, Waiting for the last dance was widely read and circulated this week citing the hazards of asset-allocation in the late stage major bubble. It is a silent reminder how every bubble is different yet same in its formation and final burst. Nothing in investing perfectly repeats. Certainly not investment bubbles!
“The one reality that you can never change is that a higher-priced asset will produce a lower return than a lower-priced asset. You can’t have your cake and eat it. You can enjoy it now, or you can enjoy it steadily in the distant future, but not both – and the price we pay for having this market go higher and higher is a lower 10-year return from the peak.”
(b) Investing comes with its own set of challenges. Investors are a diverse bunch of folks. Their risk appetite, psychology and behaviors can be vast depending on the background. Despite this the balancing act needs to be done everyday. This explanation of why birds don’t fall off the branches when they sleep? hold similar lessons for investors.
Section 2 - Economic Trends & Themes
(a) In the modern context, technologically challenging things like Bitcoins along with other Cryptocurrencies, have more potential to attract peoples' fancy as compared to gold. Last year in August, we decided to move away from Gold to Bitcoin. Check out my quotes for investing in Bitcoin here and here.
(b) Mobile Phones have taken over our lives completely. But what’s next? This essay by Benedict Evans - what comes after Smartphones? discusses the new technologies - VR and AR and how these developments can actually replace the experience.
Section 3 - Personality study & Development
(a) I watched the Netflix documentary - The Dawn wall earlier in the week. This awe-inspiring feature puts you through the trials and tribulations of rock climbing by Tommy Caldwell & Kevin Jorgeson over 19 days at the world’s most dangerous terrain -El Capitan at Yosemite National park in 2015.
This is a testament of courage (struggling with failed relationships), perseverance (one climber has a missing finger) and skill (belief in yourself). Anyone who survived the March 2020 equity market crash without panicking would relate better to it!
(b) Ikigai is a Japanese term that means a reason for being. It is a concept that helps you to find the convergence of that which you love, that which you are good at, that which you can get paid for, and that which the world needs. The concept is so simple that it has also been called the secret to a long and happy life.
This twitter thread, a summary of the book Ikigai, takes the concept and converts it into byte-sized directives that you can easily absorb and apply to your life. This can very well be the gateway to a more fulfilled life.
Section 4 - Business History & management
(a) The story of former MD of Mckinsey and a board member of Goldman Sachs, Rajat Gupta has always fascinated me. I finished reading his autobiography - Mind without fear last weekend and wrote my thoughts here. I hope post the success of Scam-1992, we get more such stories made on the big screen or OTT Platform.
(b) As the world marks both the fifth anniversary of the Paris climate agreement and the arrival of a more climate-aware US administration, the time has come to get serious about taxing or otherwise imposing a price on carbon. Without this critical policy measure, all of the recent carbon-neutrality pledges will amount to hot air.
Section 5 - Reading & Entertainment
(a) Irrfan Khan’s birthday (who passed away in 2020 after a prolonged battle with cancer) was celebrated this week by releasing Kammo Tai, the last poem recited by him. His loss was taken personally by a lot of fans and followers, his performances cured loneliness and boredom as mentioned in this beautiful obituary.
(b) Aleph Book company completed 10years of publishing in India this week. Founder David Davidar discusses the journey specially in the light of hardship post C-19 pandemic. He ends on a positive note.
“We are an ancient civilization, so there is a lot to be written about, and we have hardly begun. We have enough unworked material and unimagined books to keep thousands of writers and dozens of publishers busy for a hundred years. And so, we go on”
That's it for me. Have a great weekend!
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