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Newsletter: The Most Important Skill

(Volume 1, Issue 29)

Quote of the week

“Difficulties strengthen the mind, as labor does the body." -- Seneca

"The feeling of progress is one of the best feelings of all. This is true even when progress is small."

-- James Clear


Three recent articles

1. This week Amazon officially launched its online pharmacy. This shaved off about 10% of incumbent drug distribution companies market capitalization (approximately $10 billion). Was the reaction to the headline overblown? Looking deeper into the market structure, Vitaliy Katsenelson offers a variant perception in his opinion piece.

2. Investment outperformance can come from discipline on purchase price, but also variant perception from the market about a company's future growth. In Fight the Fade, dozens of prominent investors describe how they create value by paying a fair price for companies that they believe can deliver a few extra percentage points of growth or the current growth rates for longer than the market.

3. Are you unsure how Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies work? Starting from the start, with the original paper by Satoshi Nakamoto is still one of the best overviews of how cryptocurrencies work. (h/t Fred Wilson)

Bonus: Lyall Taylor writes a thoughtful investing blog. His latest piece Unravelling Value's Decades Long Underperformance is a reminder that when liquidity, momentum and emotions take over driving investment returns (e.g., Nifty 50s, late 1990s) fundamentals eventually do prevail.


Topic of the week: The Most Important Skill

A major problem in the information age is the flood of information we face on a daily basis is orders of magnitude greater than our brain's ability to absorb it. Jana Vembunarayanan put it succinctly: We see up to 16 GB of information per day, but our brains can only process up to 10 MB per day!

Faced with this capacity gap, learning how to learn is perhaps the only skill that matters in the knowledge economy. Jana and his colleague at LinkedIn, Emrecan Dogan, share a two part video series on concepts and digital tools that can improve our ability to learn. See the post here: Taking Smart Notes.

Some of Jana's concepts:

  • Information Retrieval

  • Mixing it Up

  • Spacing things out

  • Teaching

  • Applying algorithms

  • Actively reading

  • Summarizing, organizing and linking

Related Perspectives is itself a learning effort: capturing, sharing ideas and making connections between them.

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Newsletter: Being Critical of Ideas

(Volume 2, Issue 3) Challenging one's own commonly held ideas is uncomfortable work. But the fruit of the work is new insight and growth.


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