Of Interest, June 2020
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Of Interest, June 2, 2020
Greetings! I hope this finds you well. Of Interest is my occasional compilation of things that I found interesting or useful over the last month or so. While this does tend to be investment focused, I try to include a variety of things I’ve read, and sometimes useful tools I’ve discovered.
Lately, the COVID-19 pandemic and related government actions to shut down our economy has dominated the news, and more recently the social unrest allegedly stemming from a homicide in Minnesota is gaining a lot of press. While the news media thrives on disaster, controversy and conflict, I will try to stay positive and educational.
Please let me know if you find this useful. Please also share with me interesting or useful books, articles, podcasts, gadgets, etc. that you came across.
I also encourage everyone to be a thermostat and not a thermometer. Choose to be happy and upbeat and to look for the good in the world.
How to Host A Zoom Meeting, and general Zoom tips
Pizzaria that didn’t deliver got complaints from deliveries. Doordash essentially hijacked its online presence and allowed delivery orders, which it delivered. It never said anything to the owner. Due to a mistake in its algorithm, it charged $16 for a $24 pizza. Can you arbitrage pizza? You bet!
Mauldin on the economy: monetary policy by the Federal Reserve will prevent the US from entering into a depression, but we will still likely see 20-25% unemployment.
Who is buying stocks? Zerohedge: Institutional investors are not buying. Retail investors are buying big on small volume, driving prices up, even as fund flows are negative. This always ends in prices coming down.
Can you time the market? It’s common knowledge that timing the market is impossible. “It’s time in the market, not timing the market.” So goes the old adage. Fred Piard shows that some indicators have been useful for timing the market to avoid large drawdowns. His study spans about a hundred years for most of the signals and is designed to be robust to the day of the month that trades are placed . Very interesting.
Heisenberg looks at the S&P 500 with and without its megacap tech darlings and finds that virtually all of the outperformance of US large cap vs. the rest of the world is due to these six stocks.
And finally two articles on value investing. Here and here. The second is fairly technical.
The Brian Buffini Show https://www.thebrianbuffinishow.com/
Ep. 221: In Awe with John O’Leary
“Kids expect beauty all day long. They just expect greatness. They expect today is going to be Christmas again.” John O’Leary
“Expect great things in your life and in the lives of those you serve and you love. Just don’t be surprised when you actually move in the direction of making it so.” – John O’Leary
“When you’re at work, work like a dog. When you’re at home, play like a puppy.” – John O’Leary
Ep. 220: Napoleon Hill’s Powerful Principles for Perilous Times,
“The truth of the matter is, you don’t pursue significance, significance develops. You live a rich life; you’ll leave a very significant legacy. It’s just a by-product.” – Brian Buffini
“There is no labor of love that doesn’t have pain attached to it.” – Brian Buffini
Ep. 218: What I learned from James Allen
“A man is literally what he thinks; his character being the complete sum of all his thoughts.” – James Allen
“Men are anxious to improve their circumstances, but are unwilling to improve themselves; they therefore remain bound.” – James Allen
“He who would accomplish little must sacrifice little; he who would achieve much must sacrifice much; he who would attain highly must sacrifice greatly.” – James Allen
Grant Williams: The 2020 Hmmmminar Series – great interviews. David Rosenberg and Jesse Felder were fantastic. https://ttmygh.com/
The Meb Faber Show: Ep 221, Chris Davis
A value investor reflects on his career, lessons learned from his grandfather (a famous value investor) and the current situation
Over the last couple of months I’ve been reading motivational and leadership books and focusing on focus.
Fast Focus by Damon Zahariades – a very practical book on dealing with distractions and focusing better
The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy – very motivational look at doing the little things right consistently over time to get big effects. This could be a perennial read.
Take the Stairs by Rory Vaden – one of my favorites on self-discipline, this was my third time through this and I still love it. The pain paradox is that easy decisions make for a hard life and hard decisions make for an easy life. Successful people are those who do what other people don’t want to do.
No Excuses by Brian Tracy – similar to Take the Stairs, this is a good one to read every year, to remind oneself to do the hard thing and continue to build character.
Connect More, Lead More by Bil Sadler – 31 daily readings on leadership through connecting with other people. Good, sound, wise advice.
Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin – I love listening to Navy Seal books while I run, but this book is much more. It’s a leadership book with lessons learned from the battlefield.
The Advantage by Patrick Lencioni – this will be the next featured book review and is a great book about leading teams and creating a culture that is an advantage.
Sleep Smarter by Shawn Stevens – techniques and strategies for a great night sleep. A couple big takeaways – lower your body temperature before bed to fall asleep quicker and get better quality sleep (I use an icepack on my pillow), and timing of sleep is important: generally 10-4 is when the body’s hormone rhythm best capitalizes on sleep.
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas – fiction is good too, and this is a very well written book and a great story. It is very long.
My wife and I recently started using our Instant Pot, and we love it. This inexpensive kitchen gadget can do a lot of things and we are just starting to learn it. We tested the yogurt mode with milk that wasn’t going to be consumed in time (I hate waste!) It came out great and was easy to do. The first time we made labneh, a Lebanese cheese made from yogurt. The second time we made Greek yogurt. If you don’t have cheesecloth, a colander and coffee filter work just fine.
Rothman Investment Management, as a matter of policy, disclaims responsibility for any private publication or statement by any of its employees. The views expressed herein are those of Jacob Rothman and do not necessarily reflect the views of Rothman Investment Management or other members of the firm's staff. This letter is for informational purposes only as of March 31, 2020.
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