8 Fascinating Reads

Good reads, short quotes.

Sep 5, 2014 at 9:03AM

Here are 8 fascinating things I read this week. 


This is a great point about people taking the Chartered Financial Analyst exam: 

Future financiers are condemned to repeat the mistakes of the past. Nearly 150,000 wannabe investment advisors, bankers, risk managers and analysts around the world will sit for the CFA exam this weekend. Success hinges on their understanding of the capital asset pricing model and return on equity. Knowledge of disasters like the South Sea Bubble and the Great Crash, though, are not required. Widespread ignorance of financial history is an overlooked systemic risk.  


Charlie Munger has a great philosophy on volatility: 

This great emphasis on volatility in corporate finance we regard as nonsense. Let me put it this way; as long as the odds are in our favor and we're not risking the whole company on one throw of the dice or anything close to it, we don't mind volatility in results. What we want are favorable odds.


Americans think the country is in decline, but they've believed this for at least a quarter century: 



Hiring is back at pre-recession levels and firing is at a six-year low: 



Share buybacks are killing America, Josh Brown writes

Lazonick concludes that an SEC rule rewrite in the early 1980′s meant to drive Value Creation has instead ushered in an era of Value Extraction – wherein an increasingly smaller group of corporate executives and hedge fund managers reap an increasingly larger share of the productivity benefits of the economy.


Partick O'Shaughnessy writes about how bad pundits are: 

A similar study was conducted specifically for investing/market forecasts. The CXO Advisory group gathered 6,582 predictions from 68 different investing gurus made between 1998 and 2012, and tracked the results of those predictions. There were some very well-known names in the sample, but the average guru accuracy was just 47%--worse than a coin toss. Of the 68 gurus, 42 had accuracy scores below 50%.

Another study of analyst estimates conducted by David Dreman showed that across 400,000 different estimates, the average error was 43%! (It is interesting to note that Dreman was was of the "gurus" from the CXO study--but he was the 5th best overall with an accuracy of 64%). 


Here's an updated chart from Jeremy Siegel's book Stocks for the Long Run:



Here's an old Peter Lynch speech about owning what you know: 

Have a good weekend. 

Contact Morgan Housel at mhousel@fool.com. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

Click here to learn about this incredible technology before Buffett stops being scared and starts buying!

David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

©1995-2014 The Motley Fool. All rights reserved. | Privacy/Legal Information