Gustavo Ballvé on August 30th, 2012

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.

Read more about Brazil in the FT and more

Gustavo Ballvé on August 29th, 2012

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”.

Read more about Bronte Capital and Focus Media

Gustavo Ballvé on August 27th, 2012

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).

Read more about Which Armstrong?

Gustavo Ballvé on August 22nd, 2012

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.

Read more about The secrets of See’s Candies

Gustavo Ballvé on August 20th, 2012

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.

Read more about A flock of black swans

Gustavo Ballvé on August 14th, 2012

Two articles today discussing the coming end of the Facebook IPO lock-up. One argues there may be a sell-off; another, that there could be value in the stock and that the end of the lock-up could be a non-event. As one investor put it, in what has to be the irony of the year, “when does Facebook gets stupid cheap?” Cheap, I don’t know. Stupid, on the other hand, seems to apply to the whole episode.

Read more about Facebook lock-up ends, and…

Gustavo Ballvé on August 7th, 2012 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 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…

Read more about Munger’s letters

Gustavo Ballvé on August 5th, 2012

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.

Read more about The times they are a-changing…

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