donderdag 29 september 2016


800ste post in m'n dagboek hier.

Enkele passages die ik hooggelicht had in gelezen/herlezen e-boeken en andere quotes:

Jim Rogers: "If you get interested in a company and you read the annual report … you will have done more than 98% of the people on Wall Street."

Barbarians at the Gate:
"Sticht is going to be my sexual consultant," Wilson was heard to say. "When I want his fucking advice, I'll ask for it."

"The Reynolds veterans felt they shouldered much of the menial work. Some began calling themselves "the mushroom farmers" because they worked in the dark and just kept shoveling manure."

Johnson was bothered by only one line. It noted that he would routinely press a $50 bill into a wine steward's hand. "Christ," said a distressed Johnson, "it's been years since I tipped that little."

Berkshire Beyond Buffett:
Munger has said Berkshire's oversight is just short of abdication. In a wild example, Lou Vincenti, the chief executive at Berkshire's Wesco Financial subsidiary since its acquisition in 1973, ran the company for several years while suffering from Alzheimer's disease—without Buffett or Munger being aware of his condition. "We loved him so much," Munger said, "that even after we found out, we kept him in his job until the week that he went off to the Alzheimer's home. He liked coming in, and he wasn't doing us any harm." The two lightened a grim situation, quipping that they wished to have more subsidiaries so earnest and reputable that they could be managed by people with such debilitating medical conditions

The missive states the mandates Berkshire places on subsidiary CEOs:
(1) guard Berkshire's reputation;
(2) report bad news early;
(3) confer about post-retirement benefit changes and large capital expenditures (including acquisitions, which are encouraged);
(4) adopt a fifty-year time horizon;
(5) refer any opportunities for a Berkshire acquisition to Omaha; and
(6) submit written successor recommendations.
Otherwise, Berkshire stresses that managers are chosen because of their excellence and are urged to act on that excellence.

Reminischences of a Stock Operator

The tyro knows nothing, and everybody, including himself, knows it. But the next, or second, grade thinks he knows a great deal and makes others feel that way too. He is the experienced sucker, who has studied—not the market itself but a few remarks about the market made by a still higher grade of suckers. The second-grade sucker knows how to keep from losing his money in some of the ways that get the raw beginner. It is this semisucker rather than the 100 per cent article who is the real all-the-year-round support of the commission houses. He lasts about three and a half years on an average, as compared with a single season of from three to thirty weeks, which is the usual Wall Street life of a first offender. It is naturally the semisucker who is always quoting the famous trading aphorisms and the various rules of the game. He knows all the don'ts that ever fell from the oracular lips of the old stagers—excepting the principal one, which is: Don't be a sucker! This semisucker is the type that thinks he has cut his wisdom teeth because he loves to buy on declines.

And right here let me say one thing: After spending many years in Wall Street and after making and losing millions of dollars I want to tell you this: It never was my thinking that made the big money for me. It always was my sitting. Got that? My sitting tight! It is no trick at all to be right on the market. You always find lots of early bulls in bull markets and early bears in bear markets. I've known many men who were right at exactly the right time, and began buying or selling stocks when prices were at the very level which should show the greatest profit. And their experience invariably matched mine—that is, they made no real money out of it. Men who can both be right and sit tight are uncommon. I found it one of the hardest things to learn. But it is only after a stock operator has firmly grasped this that he can make big money

But what he answered was, "Did you ever hear of the classroom experiment of the mouse in a glass-bell when they begin to pump the air out of the bell? You can see the poor mouse breathe faster and faster, its sides heaving like overworked bellows, trying to get enough oxygen out of the decreasing supply in the bell. You watch it suffocate till its eyes almost pop out of their sockets, gasping, dying. Well, that is what I think of when I see the crowd at the Money Post! No money anywhere, and you can't liquidate stocks because there is nobody to buy them. The whole Street is broke at this very moment, if you ask me!"

I play a lone hand by choice and also because it is the wisest and cheapest way to trade. I get my pleasure out of matching my brains against the brains of other traders—men whom I have never seen and never talked to and never advised to buy or sell and never expect to meet or know. When I make money I make it backing my own opinions. I don't sell them or capitalise them. If I made money in any other way I would imagine I had not earned it.

A man cannot be convinced against his own convictions, but he can be talked into a state of uncertainty and indecision, which is even worse, for that means that he cannot trade with confidence and comfort.

Of all speculative blunders there are few greater than trying to average a losing game. My cotton deal proved it to the hilt a little later. Always sell what shows you a loss and keep what shows you a profit. That was so obviously the wise thing to do and was so well known to me that even now I marvel at myself for doing the reverse.

To learn that a man can make foolish plays for no reason whatever was a valuable lesson. It cost me millions to learn that another dangerous enemy to a trader is his susceptibility to the urgings of a magnetic personality when plausibly expressed by a brilliant mind.

Tips! How people want tips! They crave not only to get them but to give them. There is greed involved, and vanity. It is very amusing, at times, to watch really intelligent people fish for them. And the tip-giver need not hesitate about the quality, for the tip-seeker is not really after good tips, but after any tip. If it makes good, fine! If it doesn't, better luck with the next. I am thinking of the average customer of the average commission house.

The suckers had swallowed other hooks

Sommige zijn een herhaling meer dan waard: The most important thing

The way I see it, day traders considered themselves successful if they bought a stock at $10 and sold at $11, bought it back the next week at $24 and sold at $25, and bought it a week later at $39 and sold at $40. If you can't see the flaw in this—that the trader made $3 in a stock that appreciated by $30—you probably shouldn't read the rest of this book.

Since the investors of the "I know" school, described in chapter 14, feel it's possible to know the future, they decide what it will look like, build portfolios designed to maximize returns under that one scenario, and largely disregard the other possibilities. The suboptimizers of the "I don't know" school, on the other hand, put their emphasis on constructing portfolios that will do well in the scenarios they consider likely and not too poorly in the rest.

When investor psychology is at equilibrium and fear and greed are balanced, asset prices are likely to be fair relative to value. In that case there may be no compelling action, and it's important to know that, too. When there's nothing particularly clever to do, the potential pitfall lies in insisting on being clever.

Other people's Money: Masters of the Universe or Servants of the People?

Lucky fools do not bear the slightest suspicion that they may be lucky fools

There are deeper forces at work here. Throughout the era of financialisation there has been concern about the 'crisis' in social security: it is over thirty years since I was first invited to a conference to discuss this 'crisis'. It was after attending a few such meetings that I came to understand the underlying agenda. The aim of those who promoted these events was to reduce the role of the state in retirement provision and increase the participation of the finance sector.

Another author might term my generation of 'baby-boomers' 'the luckiest generation' or perhaps just 'the most selfish generation'. We have not only been successful – and perhaps this is to our credit – in enjoying a time without major armed conflict or deep economic depression; we have also been effective in transferring wealth from both past and future generations to ourselves. We reduced the debt we owed to our predecessors by rapid inflation. We promised ourselves generous state and occupational pensions, and then argued that the burden of providing them for subsequent generations could not be afforded. We sold assets that had been accumulated in the past, and would yield prospective benefits in the future, for our own current benefit, privatising state industries and monetising the goodwill in Goldman Sachs and Halifax Building Society. We let house prices and share prices rise to new highs in real terms, forcing our children to buy the nation's assets from us at prices much higher than those we had ourselves paid. To add insult to injury, we seem to have been inadequately mindful of the national infrastructure: enjoying shopping malls, to be sure, but building few houses and allowing the transport system to decay.

When Jeff Skilling toasted the capitalisation of energy contracts in champagne, he was celebrating the twin benefits of the prudence of his predecessors and his own imprudence in relation to his successors. And I could join him in that toast. Lucky indeed to have lived through the era of financialisation

activity has come from a massive expansion in the packaging, repackaging and trading of existing assets. The finance sector today does many things that do not need to be done, and fails to do many things that do need to be done.

We need a finance sector to manage our payments, finance our housing stock, restore our infrastructure, fund our retirement and support new business. But very little of the expertise that exists in the finance industry today relates to the facilitation of payments, the provision of housing, the management of large construction projects, the needs of the elderly or the nurturing of small businesses. The process of financial intermediation has become an end in itself.

En de kern van John Kays' betoog: het 
"I'll be gone, you'll be gone"  gedrag - de werknemer moet nooit verantwoording afleggen voor slechte acties en transacties.

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