When I adopted rationality more than a decade ago, discovering that the only intelligent way to go through life was to base decisions on the preponderance of evidence, critically attacking ideas to improve thinking, and working to constantly remove assumptions from my analysis, it was akin to the conversion of Saul in Acts 9:18; scales falling from my eyes and seeing the world for how it really was for the first time. I never anticipated how painful it would be to see others remaining behind in Plato’s cave given my natural inclination to teach and help people. Even reading the articles on news stories can be unpleasant.
One of the biggest questions on my mind for the past seven or eight years, and cause for a general chronic uneasiness in my heart, has been the nature of privacy going forward as a result of technological changes.
One of the projects on my personal study plate is examining the various business models of multi-level marketing systems that rely, in part, on referral businesses paying tiered levels of commissions on sub-distributorships brought into the enterprise by existing dealers; companies like Amway, Mary Kay, and Herbalife.
Often your best investment opportunities are staring you right in the face based on situational knowledge you have due to your physical location, career, or network; things that other consumers and capital allocators don’t, yet, realize.
For my fellow cooks out there, America’s Test Kitchen has published a recipe for braised red potatoes with lemon and chives that is beyond delicious. It immediately became our permanent recipe. I can’t imagine having them any other way now that I’ve experienced these. I highly recommend you go get the recipe for yourself. It’s simple, but the preparation they use makes all the difference.
Imagine that back in 2007, you had $3,000,000 to invest on behalf of a private family investment partnership you were running. You decide to split this into three different companies. One of these was AIG, the insurance conglomerate. AIG shares fell from a high of $1,459.00 each to $6.60. The Board of Directors had to do a 20-1 reverse stock split to keep the thing from trading for less than the value of bottle caps.
I was asked, “There is a maxim of which you are no doubt aware that retail investors quote Warren Buffett, while professional money masters quote Jesse Livermore. You never talk about Livermore and I would like to know your thoughts on his philosophy.”