This article will tackle the big news. Saudi Arabia announced that it will increase oil production from 9.7 million barrels a day to 10 million and then to 12 million if needed. This news alone sent the oil price down 20% – and the whole stock market with it.
We are given the rare opportunity to prioritize what is most important to us without guilt. The material world is on pause, at least for a few weeks.
In terms of excitement, investing usually rivals watching paint dry. That has not been the case lately.
I am going to divide this letter into three sections: health and human impact (sometimes a tragic one), economic impact and investment strategy.
In 2018 I hit a midlife crisis. Some people get a red convertible; I started to pay attention to my health.
Can Tesla become as successful as Apple, and can Tesla cars turn into an iPhone-like franchise, taking EV market share from nothing to 10% to 30% of the ICE car market?
My wife loves driving the Tesla Model 3, not for all the selfish reasons I like to drive it (it is fast and quite the iPad on wheels) but because she feels she helps the environment. Is she right?
Can traditional automobile companies successfully transition to making electric vehicles?
In investing, tribalism is outright dangerous to your wealth. When you allow tribalism to impact your thinking, you lose the ability to think independently.
Neither my company nor I are long or short Tesla shares. Why don’t we own it?
I was so exhausted that I was not self-aware enough to recognize I had a problem.
The engine is the most complex and important part of the internal combustion car, but it is one of the least complex parts of the electric vehicle and, surprisingly, the least important one.
I’ve owned the car for a bit over two months, and so far it is the best car I’ve ever had.
Today I am going to write about a topic I have never written about before: personal finance.
The more “exciting” an IPO’s first-day moves, the less the company has to celebrate.
Wall Street glorifies companies that beat quarterly estimates by arguing that the long term comprises a lot of short terms. But beating earnings estimates for a few consecutive quarters doesn’t necessarily lead to long-term greatness.
Fear is not your friend. Being a successful investor requires emotional balance.
Making money on marijuana will be very difficult.
The opioid crisis in the U.S. is a true tragedy, but drug distributors are not responsible for it – an important point to remember when you read another heartbreaking article.
We’re in a low-rate-fueled bubble – just look at the venture capital market. When high-flying, Ponzi-like, VC-funded firms fail, Amazon, Google and Facebook will suffer with them.
What is happening in Ukraine, a country of 45 million people, has lately been very interesting, because there is a sliver of hope that one idealistic leader can change the course of the country.
We have learned from experience that educational background, prior experience, and even working toward the CFA designation had very little predictive power as to whether a person would end up as a great investor. There was only one factor that really mattered to me this time…
What can we do, as investors, to move toward maximum rationality? Here’s one piece of advice…
If you own the S&P 500 (or long-term bonds), you implicitly think one of several things is true…
One of the most important qualities I’d be looking for in a money manager is this…
Despite negative headlines, we own drug distributors. Here is why.
Corporate acquisitions fail for one simple reason.
I completely understand the dividend cult: Investors who used to rely on bonds for a constant flow of income are now forced to resort to dividend-paying companies. The problem is that this cult creates the wrong incentives for leaders of publicly traded companies.
What I am about to share with you is somewhat random drivel about a topic that has been very important to me in 2018 – time. I am anything but an expert on it; and in fact, as you’ll see, this is something I fail in and am trying to fail less.
The Roman philosopher Seneca wasn’t talking about the stock market when he wrote, “Time discovers truth,” but he could have been. In the long run a stock price will reflect a company’s intrinsic value. In the short run pricing is random. Here are two real-life examples.
Here are the key reasons why we sold our entire Apple stake just last week.
My firm is having little success finding solid companies at attractive valuations. Don’t just take my word for it. Take a look at several charts, below, that show the magnitude of the stock market’s overvaluation and, more importantly, put it into historical context.
As much as you might like to, you cannot control the world; but you can control how you react to it. Here’s how I learned to do just that.
My partner, Mike, and I have been reading Skin in the Game by one of our favorite authors, Nassim Taleb. The point of the book can be summed up in one sentence: You want to associate with people who will share not only upsides with you but also downsides. When someone is getting paid to sell you a product but captures no downside in the transaction (this describes the bulk of Wall Street transactions), that person doesn’t have skin in the game, and his/her advice may or may not be in your best interest.
I don’t trust the fundamentals of the global economy. The system is built on quicksand.
I wrote the following as an intro to an article about markets that I was about to share with you. But when I had finished writing about Mia Sarah, the article suddenly seemed trivial in comparison.
As I get older I find that I value material things a lot less. I am still partial to gadgets, but soft things like conversations, walks – experiences – have started to matter to me a lot more than things. My writing was supposed to be about investing, how to make $2 out of $1, but existential topics have lately had a greater appeal for me than discussions about stocks or the economy.
Companies everywhere, in every business, are paranoid about Amazon.com. This sort of paranoia is healthy for the long-term well-being of our investment portfolio, as it is creating interesting buying opportunities.
If I were long in Tesla’s shares I’d be asking certain questions. After all, you’re paying $50 billion for a company that trades completely on the spoils of future dreams.
We sold the ETFs because we were concerned about the low-probability but still possible risk mismatch in liquidity between the ETF and the securities it holds, in the event of a (not-low-probability) panic sell-off in the market.
Jobs, Branson, Buffett – it is rare for somebody to embody strengths of each of these business giants. Masayoshi Son, the Korean-Japanese, University of California, Berkeley-educated founder of one of Japan’s most successful companies, SoftBank Group, is a candidate.
As I got into my mid-forties I landed in my own version of a midlife crisis. Instead of getting a 20-year-old girlfriend or a red convertible, I started paying attention to my health.
Socially responsible investing on an institutional level, where one body makes “socially responsible” capital allocation decisions for a pool of investors, is a utopian concept, just like socialism. It is simply impractical.
I am about to embark on my 11th annual trip to Warren Buffett’s Omaha. This year I have something unique to share with you: an excerpt from a chapter I contributed to a brand new book, The Warren Buffett Shareholder. Let me tell you a little bit how this chapter came about.
It is becoming difficult to see how the Model 3 will be the car that leads Tesla to profitability.
GE retaught investors the great lesson that things that cannot go on forever don’t. Hopefully, ExxonMobil investors will heed that lesson.
A big part of Amazon’s success came from not being taken seriously by its competition. But now, fear of Amazon has reached paranoia levels. The laws of economics, however, still apply to Amazon’s announced health care venture.
Don’t let this wave of stock-market volatility go to your head. The value of the companies in your portfolio doesn’t change by a positive or negative 5% three times a day.
Path dependency is a very important concept. It’s something we constantly think about, and thus, we’ll take a small detour to explore it.
Acquisitions have the elements of a zero sum game. Both buyer and seller need to feel that they are getting a good deal. The seller has to convince his board and shareholders that they are selling at high (unfairly good) price. The buyer needs to convince his constituents that they are getting a bargain. Remember, both are talking about the same asset.