Like every year, it’s a pleasure to read the words of wisdom from Warren. His annual letter gives us a glimpse into his mind and how he sees the world. It’s fascinating, and each time is surprising. Warren is an excellent writer who put a smile on my face.
I’m looking forward to watching his ‘Investing Carnaval’ at the beginning of May.
The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle (@EckhartTolle)
The Sovereign Individual: Mastering the Transition to the Information Age by James Dale Davidson
Incerto Series by Nassim Nicholas Taleb (@nntaleb): All 5 books are great but not an easy read. I had to re-read some parts in the books again and again and I’m still not sure I got to the bottom of the idea(s).
I find the topic of decisions making to be a fascinating one. In the past few years, I wrote about it several times and this is the post I keep returning as the ‘checklist’. However, it’s great to have quick and simple rules that you can use.
Three rules to improve your decisions (that I ‘borrowed’ from @naval):
If you can’t decide, the answer is no – It might be a bit tricky in cases where you don’t have a Yes/No decision. However, the idea (IMHO) is that you should have a hunch on what will be the right path and if you can’t feel it, try to base the decision on the best data you can find.
If two equally difficult paths, choose the one more painful in the short term (pain avoidance is creating an illusion of equality) – This is a clever one, as it’s pointing you in the direction of ‘Easy choices → Hard life. Hard choices → Easy life’. I’m not sure, this rule will be valid in all cases, but even if it’s holding for 80% it’s a good one to remember.
Choose the path that leaves you calmer in the long term – Smart way to validate which is the better decision for a given challenge.
Also, it’s good to remember that “It’s extremely hard to make good decisions in a poor environment.”
So do your best to improve the environment (e.g. company, friends) before taking important decisions.
Psychologist and Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman reveals the actions we can take to overcome the biases. He talks in this podcast about the things that cripple our decision-making, damper our thinking, and limit our effectiveness.
Some gems from his conversion:
First one, is thought provoking as you take it to your personal or professional life.
“I think changing behavior is extremely difficult. There are a few guidelines about how to do that, but anybody who’s very optimistic about changing behavior is just deluded.”
I read a few years ago the Poor Charlie’s Almanack and found it to be a really great book for many areas in life. It’s also a long and heavy book so you might wish to get it it to your Kindle. Charles Munger is a brilliant thinker and it’s no surprise that the book is full of practical wisdom.
Some of the points I took and used many times:
Incentives – He talks about the incentives and how they are in the root of many systems. One of the more powerful statements is: “If you wish to see what people will do – look at their incentives”. It holds true both to people and to teams & companies.
Bias – How the human mind is closing itself after it ‘knows’ something. That might be really hard when you want to change your thoughts on a topic. You should embrace people who think differently and aren’t agree with you on every topic. It’s not easy but rewarding and will improve your decisions. Continue reading →
Hans Rosling was a great author (and a speaker) and he expressed his ideas in a very clear way. One of the great things that open this book, is the test that he gives you at the beginning. It comes to prove you, how little you know about the world we live in. It drives the point home very clearly.
It’s a long book but very well organized. You get a good background on Ray Dalio and how he arrived at where he is today. I have known him for 10 years but was amazed to learn he was broke in the early 80′. In a classic American dream story, he built one of the world’s most significant (and maybe, best) hedge funds that these days manage over $150B.
Things I liked:
Ray gives good explanations to each principal and how he got to it. There are many cases where he drives his points with a real-life example, which is helpful. You can think of this book as a recipe book for life and business. Ray wants you to follow these principles, get you to think about them, and develop a set of principles based on your idea, experience, and life lessons.
He provides the reader with a strategy and a roadmap to better thinking and dealing with problems and challenges.
He also gives tools and methodologies to accomplish goals you think are essential base on your values.
After over 40 years in the stock market, he learned that to be so successful, you need to be an independent thinker (because the consensus is baked into the price of assets), and you need to be more right than wrong. So the ability to learn from your mistakes and to keep improving is critical.
In the last part of the book, he talks about business and how to build a group or organization that will be transparent, self-improving, and able to bubble up with the best ideas. It sounds easy, but from the past 20 years, I know how hard it is to accomplish.