Two quick articles: a relatively thorough article in the Financial Times about Brazil’s construction and infrastructure boom in the next few years, and a cautionary tale about things that “happen all the time” – until they don’t.
Credit where credit’s due: we’ve linked to material from Bronte Capital before, but we hadn’t yet made them a Blogroll inductee. That is now fixed as their recent posts on Focus Media make for a highly entertaining investigative series. Again: everything you read here, even when written by us, should be taken with the necessary precautions – the main one being the classic “trust your own diligence”.
The Lance Armstrong episode highlights three very important issues about information, investigation and how one gains knowledge, or at least some conviction. I’m not alone in pointing out some similarities between investment research and journalism, so please bear with me (there’s a bonus link in the end).
Very interesting article in Fortune Magazine about See’s Candies, the candy company owned by Berkshire Hathaway. There’s also a nice companion piece about the reporter’s experience interviewing both Charlie Munger and Warren Buffett. Buffett discussed See’s Candies in detail in the 2007 annual report, and we except from that inside.
Interesting article at Project Syndicate by Prof. Jeffrey Frankel, mentioning just a few potential pitfalls the world could face this year or in the near future. It certainly doesn’t inspire the brightest of moods, and we could nitpick about the best definition of black swans, but better safe than sorry.
ValueWalk.com pointed me to a compilation of Charlie Munger’s letters to Wesco shareholders from 1980 to 2009. It is a 286-page document that is NOT a part of the amazing Poor Charlie’s Almanac. As ValueWalk.com noted, all credit is due to the My Investing Notebook blog. “The day only has 24 hours” is still valid, but one must prioritize and allocate resources to the best possible use…
Jonah Lehrer’s “fall from grace” highlights two “unhealthy” attitudes: 1) leaning on experts and 2) dismissing 100% of someone’s work – even after such a dreadful sin as making up quotes. Maintain skepticism while taking what is useful from many sources, seeking your own knowledge at all times; and don’t let other people’s judgement affect your own.