Uncommon sense for the Thoughtful Investor

Last October in San Francisco, I gave a presentation to 60 analysts in the context of MercadoLibre’s investor day. In the Q&A section, I casually mentioned to one of them that I’d love to see the world the way investors see it. A few weeks later, back in Buenos Aires, I received a package with a handwritten note:

«Daniel, I remember you saying that you were curious about how investors think.
I’d argue the best think like Howard Marks.
Attached is his new book which I think is an efficient read»

Inside, there was a copy of «The Most Important Thing – Uncommon sense for the Thoughtful Investor«, by Howard Marks. I enjoyed every page of the book. In addition to a sneak peek into the mind of a real expert, I found that many concepts were applicable to my work in Technology and Product.

Here are some interesting quotes:

«Being too far ahead of the curve is indistinguishable from being wrong» (H. Marks)

«The market can remain irrational longer than you can remain solvent» (J.M. Keynes)

«Is only when the tide goes out that you find who’s been swimming naked» (W. Buffet)

«There is little that’s as dangerous for investor health as insistence on extrapolating today’s events into the future» (H. Marks)

«Nobody goes to that restaurant anymore: is too crowded.» (Y. Berra)

«Is our job as contrarians to catch falling knives, hopefully with care and skill» (H. Marks)

«In every Poker game there is a fish. If you’ve played for 45 minutes and haven’t figured out who the fish is, then it’s you» (Old Poker Quote)

Daniel Rabinovich

The Art of Fielding

The Art of Fielding

I´ve just finished The Art of Fielding, by Chad Harbach. This slow and great novel was last September’s Amazon Book of the Month. It’s a story about baseball, campus life, romance and friendship. This is not a review (here’s a great one from NYTimes), but a small compilation of my favorite quotes from the book (love the Kindle «highlight» feature).

Putting Henry at shortstop – it was like taking a painting that had been shoved in a closet and hanging it in the ideal spot. You instantly forgot what the room had looked like before.

Henry closed on it quickly, absorbing it into his glove with the thoughtless ease of a mother being handed her newborn baby.

Locker rooms, in Schwartz experience, were always underground, like bunkers and bomb shelters. This was less a structural necessity than a symbolic one. The locker room protected you when you were most vulnerable: just before a game, and just after.

A good coach made you suffer in a way that suited you. A bad coach made everyone suffer in the same way, and so was more like a torturer.

Couldn’t resist a techie’s note: the book was bought on the new HTML5 Kindle Store for iPad, a clever way Amazon has found to dodge Apple’s 30% «in-app purchases» fee.

Daniel Rabinovich