Seeking Wisdom X – About the Psychology of Misjudgements (4) – Consistency
Consistency – I don’t know about you, but when I’ve made a commitment – a promise, a choice, taken a stand, invested time, money or effort – I want to be consistent. I want to feel I’ve made the right decision. And I’ve noticed that the more I invest in this behaviour the harder it is to change.
Seeking Wisdom IX – Beware of the wild side! About self-deception & denial – Who are you? “Won’t get fooled again!”
Self-deception & denial - In his famous 1974 preamble address at Caltech, American physicist Richard Feynman warned against self-deception: “ The first principle, he said, is that you must not fool yourself – and you are the easiest person to fool”. Long before that, Demosthenes, the Greek statesman, said something similar: “Nothing is easier than self-deceit. For what each man wishes, that he also believes to be true.”
“Has Kuehne & Nagel got its mojo back?”
A mojo is an amulet or talisman associated with hoodoo, an early African-American folk-magic belief system. A more general definition is a quality that attracts people to you and makes you successful and full of energy, a kind of magic touch.
Seeking Wisdom VIII – About the Psychology of Misjudgements (2), what we owe to football & let’s cease to cherish our opinions!
As Albert Camus said: “Because, after many many years in which the world has offered me a lot to see, in the end, everything I know about morality and the obligations of men, I owe it to football.” Camus was a great writer, literature Nobel prize winner, a native of Algiers and of very humble origin. Reminiscing of his experience as a young goalie for the local team, he added: “I learned right away that a ball never came to you on the side where we believed. It has served me well in my life and especially in the Big City (Paris) where people aren’t always bold and trustworthy.”
Intrinsic value, Mystery Co. “owner earning” & dancing the “joropo” on the ceiling
Let me turn down the volume, take you off the dance floor, sober you up a bit and let’s define “intrinsic value” and how I calculate “intrinsic value”. It is the measure of what an asset (a company, for instance) is worth. The measure is arrived at by means of an objective calculation, or sometimes a complex financial model, rather than using the current trading price thrown at you by Mr. Market. I myself take an average EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, also called gross operating cash flow) over the last 2 to 3 fiscal years. I include the current year and take out the maintenance CAPEX. The result is what I’d like to call “owner earning”.
Lessons in Physics, the Mexican Hat and the persistent ZIRC - “I’m only human after all”
The Higgs Field is a scalar field exhibiting a potential energy at every point in space. Without that field particles would not have the mass required to attract one another, and would float around freely at light speed. Also, gravity as we know it would not work because mass sources would not be there to influence the path of other masses. The mechanism behind this, is called spontaneous symetry breaking and the potential function representing the Higgs Field has the shape of a Mexican hat. The instability of this geometry pushes the field down towards the trough of the hat and thus gives a particle its valuable mass.
“13” a blessing or a curse? – Smile to go!
On January 21, 2021, we celebrated the 13th anniversary of the Fund. No, we don’t suffer from “triskaidekaphobia”. On the contrary, we innovated. Due to Covid19, we held the anniversary by webinar, at which Coltene CFO, Gerhard Mahrle, presented the group, which is active in the dental sector.
What about the Two Sisters? – About consanguinity & “Back to the (drawing) board!”
Citing unidentified people inside the 2 banks, Inside Paradeplatz, an online finance newspaper, is speculating that the chairman of UBS & Credit Suisse are exploring a potential merger, nicknamed Signal, to create one of Europe’s largest banks. The rumour, emerged mid-September and I’ve been asked the whys & hows, the validity of such a plan, etc. Before I give you my present take on this, I should like you to look at my past take on this when I wrote the following 7 years ago, based on the news at that time.
Noah’s Ark, Time To THINK! & “Happy Birthday, Warren!”
Warren Buffett and his partner Charlie Munger have been criticized recently. Value investments, their credo, reached an epic level of underperformance versus the index and especially in growth stocks, the so-called GAFA. Now let me remind you that “it wasn’t raining when Noah built the Ark. And he didn’t look that smart for 39 days.”
Seeking Wisdom VI – “In those unprecedented times, why not think “backwards”?”
We are now 6 months into COVID-19 and during this hot summer lull, I thought it might be time to step back a bit, take stock and reconnect with our “seeking wisdom” series. These are unprecedented times, where we do need to avoid certain behaviours, risks, attitudes, etc. So why not approach things in an unprecedented fashion and think things backwards. “A lot of success in life and success in business comes from knowing what you really want to avoid – like early death and a bad marriage”, said Charlie Munger, Warren Buffett’s partner and Vice Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway.