Happy Friday! Here are eight great things I read this week.
Don't try this at home
Warren Buffett shares his diet secrets:
"If I eat 2700 calories a day, a quarter of that is Coca-Cola. I drink at least five 12-ounce servings. I do it everyday ... "This morning, I had a bowl of chocolate chip ice cream," Buffett says ...
Asked to explain the high-sugar, high-salt diet that has somehow enabled him to remain seemingly healthy, Buffett replies: "I checked the actuarial tables, and the lowest death rate is among six-year-olds. So I decided to eat like a six-year-old." The octogenarian adds, "It's the safest course I can take."
Legendary 109-year old investor Irving Kahn passed away this week:
Last year, at 108, he was still working three days a week, commuting one mile from his Upper East Side apartment to the firm's midtown office. There, he shared his thoughts on investment positions with his son, Thomas Kahn, the firm's president, and grandson Andrew, vice president and research analyst. The cold New York City winter kept Kahn away from the office the past several months, his grandson said.
"I prefer to be slow and steady," Kahn said in a 2014 interview with the U.K. Telegraph. "I study companies and think about what they might return over, say, four or five years. If a stock goes down, I have time to weather the storm, maybe buy more at the lower price. If my arguments for the investment haven't changed, then I should like the stock even more when it goes down."
Josh Brown shares tips on how to navigate financial media:
1. Remember that everyone has a bias or agenda. Everyone (me too! and you!).
2. Don't confuse someone else's time frame for your own.
3. Know that 95% of what you read is contextual information, not actionable (which is perfectly fine).
4. Ignore all forecasts and price targets, except for entertainment purposes.
5. Hierarchy: Books > Articles > Blogs > Tweets
Less than a week after Wal-Mart announced that it would raise wages for 500,000 employees to $9 an hour in April, off-price retailer TJX said in its fourth-quarter earnings report that it, too, will boost pay.
The parent company of T.J. Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods said Wednesday its full- and part-time hourly U.S. employees will earn at least $9 an hour starting in June. In 2016, all hourly U.S. workers who have been with the company for six months or more will earn at least $10 an hour.
This is a great piece on the psychology of casinos:
Some players get so hooked by the flow of the game that they actually get annoyed when they win a jackpot.
This is awful:
American kids are still far more likely to be overweight than kids in most other countries. Much of that damage has been done over the past thirty years, during which the average weight of an American child has risen by more than 11 pounds, according to the researchers.
Another great piece by Josh Brown on scarcity:
And stocks are scarce. The good ones anyway. There aren't ten Disneys, there's just one. There aren't two Apples, there's one. Buybacks have shrunk the quantity of S&P 500 company shares. Zero-percent interest rates have ballooned the demand for dividend-paying blue chips.
The stock market won't go down because too many people need it to. It's not rocket science.
Uber is worth $40 billion. Not the business, mind you, the private-market shares. The business is probably worth a lot, but not $40 billion. But the shares are because they are scarce. You can't be a venture capitalist and not own them, or have access to them. What kind of a piker VC misses out on Uber? It's like being at a monster truck rally and not having that t-shirt where the Ford pisses on the Chevy. You may as well go home. That's why they'll pay any amount.
Here's a funny article from 1985 predicting the future of the laptop:
The limitations come from what people actually do with computers, as opposed to what the marketers expect them to do. On the whole, people don't want to lug a computer with them to the beach or on a train to while away hours they would rather spend reading the sports or business section of the newspaper. Somehow, the microcomputer industry has assumed that everyone would love to have a keyboard grafted on as an extension of their fingers. It just is not so.
Have a good weekend.
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