The Deipnosophist

Where the science of investing becomes an art of living

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Location: Summerlin, Nevada, United States

A private investor for 20+ years, I manage private portfolios and write about investing. You can read my market musings on three different sites: 1) The Deipnosophist, dedicated to teaching the market's processes and mechanics; 2) Investment Poetry, a subscription site dedicated to real time investment recommendations; and 3) Seeking Alpha, a combination of the other two sites with a mix of reprints from this site and all-original content. See you here, there, or the other site!

10 May 2008

Nothing is off topic; it all connects

I clambered out of my safe cubby-hole ~10 years ago to share publicly my knowledge re the markets and investing; of course flack and guff came my way due to my tendency to share items that seem to range far off the mark of investing.

Except the many articles, etc do not veer off-topic; I believe everything connects, which explains, on one level, my esteem for the humanities, and why I share all this... seemingly unrelated stuff. From poetry to articles about mountain lions, they all are fair game, and germane to an investor who seeks consistent success.

Imagine my surprise, then, to read this essay by Charlie Munger, Warren Buffett's #2 at Berkshire Hathaway...

"... the subject of my talk is the art of stock picking as a subdivision of the art of worldly wisdom. That enables me to start talking about worldly wisdom a much broader topic that interests me because I think all too little of it is delivered by modern educational systems, at least in an effective way. The carrot part of this talk is about the general subject of worldly wisdom which is a pretty good way to start. After all, the theory of modern education is that you need a general education before you specialize. And I think to some extent, before you're going to be a great stock picker, you need some general education..."
"Well, so much for the basic microeconomics models, a little bit of psychology, a little bit of mathematics, helping create what I call the general substructure of worldly wisdom. Now, if you want to go o­n from carrots to dessert, I'll turn to stock picking ‑ trying to draw o­n this general worldly wisdom as we go. I don't want to get into emerging markets, bond arbitrage and so forth. I'm talking about nothing but plain vanilla stock picking. That, believe me, is complicated enough. And I'm talking about common stock picking. The first question is..."
Models and pattern recognition help us to recognize (investment) opportunity; modeling (mimicing) icons of success help us each to be successful.

I consider this essay also to be worthy of your time, which makes me two for two today. (Might as well attempt the hat-trick.)

-- David M Gordon / The Deipnosophist

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