This Week I Learned #29

“Go to bed smarter than when you woke up”
— Charlie Munger



  • Wealthy: a16z summit on the end of the beginning. a look into the evolution of the tech world. it's been a neat overview of the global ecosystem in terms of how large opportunities for ecommerce, real estate and healthcare is and how we may have just scratched the surface. Also neat to see a POV of how we went through a stage of having capital-light companies grow to take advantage of information arbitrage but now as the market evolves the need for capital-heavy companies come into existence.


  • Wise: Learnings from Shane's interview with Adam Robinson. I'm a big fan of Adam so this has been a big treat for me. Adam talks about the limitations of logic and how the greatest insights are actually from the unconscious, a viewpoint I 100% adhere to as well, but he is unsure if there is a why to be attentive to that. What is affirming is how he admits that each of his major accomplishments were not pre-planned notions but were inspired out of the blue and then he implemented logic/planning/doing to execute it. Adam also talks about the limitation of self-help books because it continues to focus on the self when one should focus on the 'work at hand' and/or how to help others. It's like the adage of not being able to find things that you are looking for. Whether it's happiness, success or understanding the self... constantly looking for it isn't the way to find it. There are  4-5 types of traders (equity, bond, metal/oil and currencies) and of them the metal traders tend to be the most far sighted with month/yearly time frames and they hence tend to be the most right (probably) compared to the rest and the 2nd best are the bond traders. Metal trader’s view on interest rate is shown by the ratio of copper price to gold. If that is low then metal traders think the rate will decrease. Bond traders will show their belief in increase in rates by buying treasuries. If they think economy will do well and rates will go down they will buy corporate bonds and sell treasury as a hedge. Bond traders are right but early so when they disagree with equity traders the equity folks will eventually follow. So look at corp bond movement + treasury movement to understand the bond trader stance on your company. There are also 3 ways stocks move: 1) sudden drop then recovery then long term drop, extrapolated exponential rise 3) long term sideways then jump as patient and convicted investors hole on and weak hands leave the pot. when bond traders are optimistic of the economy they will buy corporate bonds and sell treasuries and if they are bearish they will buy treasuries. then the whole learning piece on demographic impact on the child's ability to improve test scores is gold. you want the bread winner of the house to be born from another country (immigrant who has the perseverance to survive) and the caretaker to be born in the same country (native language/linguistic ability).It's about honing the ability/drive to be a hard worker who can persevere and communicate socially.


  • Wealthy: "Quantity has a quality all its own" - Joseph Stalin; Whether it's writing articles, researching companies, or training at the gym, quality seems to develop over a large quantity of practice. 


  • Healthy: A TED talk on misfits. I thought this would be like the common view of non-conformists ruling the world but I was pleasantly surprised by something different. I don't know how this video only has 300K views. The talk just gave me a sort of positive perspective and coincidentally hit me in the right time whilst I was going through my regular period of self-loathing. Her story just had power and purity and it's been a nice perspective to balance out my extremes of narcissism and self-loathing that I switch between to survive. Stories like hers would be ones I hope to uncover with OMD Ventures in the future.


  • Wise: Patrick Collison's, CEO of Stripe, interview with Tim Ferriss. A major insight from this conversation has been a view on decision making. The question isn't whether you are making the right decision or not, you can't know that, but rather on whether the options you are choosing from are robust to begin with. So if you've gotten to the point where 2 options are both great, then the downside of making one decision over the other is minimal. If the decision turned out to be wrong then with that additional data point you can probably revert to the other option or get to a whole new decision making scenario too. In addition to constructing an environment that can lead to robust options, it's also about questioning the options at hand. For example, if the option is between 2 jobs or 2 colleges then questioning need you get a full-time job? Why not freelance or part-time or need you go to college? etc... It's also been valuable to get some new book recommendations from the chat too. I have added the book on Richard Feynman and the Inner Game of Tennis to my personal list.


  • Wealthy: A rare interview with Bruce Flatt, the CEO of Brookfield Asset Management. This is a great interview to get some insights into the process of one of the largest asset managers in the world, grown by a Manitoban accountant. Like any good investor, real asset investing requires looking for value and that requires one to look somewhere capital is not looking. Capital meaning the lemmings. With trends of urbanization and creations of mega cities a likelihood in the future, this was a real fun interview to how the big boys in real estate operate.


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Daniel LeeOMD VenturesTWIL