Points to Ponder

“Seek out anyone you can learn from”

On Concentration:

“Diversification serves as protection against ignorance. If you want to make sure that nothing bad happens to you relative to the market, you should own everything. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s a perfectly sound approach for somebody who doesn’t know how to analyze businesses. But if you know how to value businesses, it’s crazy to own 50 stocks or 40 or 30 stocks. Probably because there aren’t that many wonderful businesses understandable to a single human being in all likelihood.”
– Warren Buffett

“The ability to focus attention on important things is a defining characteristic of intelligence.”
– Robert J. Shiller

“I try to limit my bets to the limited number of things I am confident in”.
– Ray Dalio

"Know what you own and know why you own it."
– Peter Lynch

On Simplicity:

“No wise pilot, no matter how great his talent and experience, fails to use his checklist.”
– Charlie Munger

“A simple rule applies: if you don’t quickly comprehend what a company is doing, then management probably doesn’t either.”
– Seth Klarman

“I believe in the discipline of mastering the best that other people have ever figured out. I don’t believe in just sitting down and trying to dream it all up yourself. Nobody’s that smart.”
– Charlie Munger

“If you can’t explain to a 10-year-old in 2 minutes or less why you own a stock, you shouldn’t own it”
– Peter Lynch

“All intelligent investing is value investing”
– Charlie Munger

On Contrarianism:

“Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful.”
– Warren Buffett

“The biggest mistake investors make is to believe that what happened in the recent past is likely to persist. They assume that something that was a good investment in the recent past is still a good investment. Typically, the high past returns simply imply that an asset has become more expensive and is a poorer, not better, investment.”
– Ray Dalio

“In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons…who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind.”
– Edward L. Bernays

“Bull markets are born on pessimism, grown on skepticism, mature on optimism and die on euphoria. The time of maximum pessimism is the best time to buy, and the time of maximum optimism is the best time to sell.”
– John Templeton

“Collective fear stimulates herd instinct, and tends to produce ferocity toward those who are not regarded as members of the herd.”
– Bertrand Russell

On Skin in the Game:

“Don’t tell me what you ‘think’, just tell me what’s in your portfolio”
– Nassim Taleb

“Unfortunately, there are far too many boards that believe corporations are more like feudal systems than democracies; that stockholders are the peasants who represent a necessary evil that must be tolerated, possibly patronized, but certainly ignored. Much like the feudal barons, they hire mercenaries (lawyers and investment bankers) to deal with these peasants (stockholders), if they become too unruly.”
– Carl Icahn

“In any type of activity or business divorced from the direct filter of skin in the game, the great majority of people know the jargon, play the part, and are intimate with the cosmetic details, but are clueless about the subject.”
– Nassim Taleb

On Investing for the long-term:

“Often, there is no correlation between the success of a company’s operations and the success of its stock over a few months or even a few years. In the long term, there is a 100 percent correlation between the success of the company and the success of its stock. This disparity is the key to making money; it pays to be patient, and to own successful companies.”
– Peter Lynch

“The stock market is a device for transferring money from the impatient to the patient.”
– Warren Buffett

“Most successful investors in fact, do nothing most of the time.”
– Jim Rogers

“If you are not willing to own a stock for 10 years, do not even think about owning it for 10 minutes.”
– Warren Buffett

On Critical Thinking:

“When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?”
attributed to John Maynard Keynes

“One of the tests of leadership is the ability to recognize a problem before it becomes an emergency.”
– Arnold H. Glasgow

“I am astonished at the ease with which uninformed persons come to a settled, a passionate opinion when they have no grounds for judgment.”
– William Golding

“Be a hyperrealist…Understanding, accepting, and working with reality is both practical and beautiful. I have become so much of a hyperrealist that I’ve learned to appreciate the beauty of all realities, even harsh ones, and have come to despise impractical idealism.”
– Ray Dalio

On Markets and Money:

“Nothing is normal: not the economy, not the financial system, not the financial markets and not the political system. The system remains still in the throes and aftershocks of the 2008 panic and the near-systemic collapse, and from the ongoing response to same by the Federal Reserve and the federal government. Further panic is possible, and hyperinflation is inevitable.”
– John Williams

“Inflation is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon in the sense that it is and can be produced only by a more rapid increase in the quantity of money than in output.”
– Milton Friedman

“The most important forces that now exist are:

  1. The End of the Long-Term Debt Cycle (When Central Banks Are No Longer Effective)
  2. The Large Wealth Gap and Political Polarity
  3. A Rising World Power Challenging an Existing World Power”

– Ray Dalio

“There is nothing normal in the markets. Everything is being manipulated by the government.”
– Seth Klarman

“If you don’t own Gold, you know neither history nor economics.”
– Ray Dalio

“Are recessions really avoidable or merely postponable? And if the latter, is it better for them to occur naturally or be postponed unnaturally? Might efforts to postpone them create undue faith in the power and intentions of the Fed, and thus a return of moral hazard? And if the Fed wards off a series of little recessions, mightn’t that just mean that, when the ability to keep doing so reaches its limit, the one that finally arrives will be a doozy?”
– Howard Marks

“Gold is money. Everything else is credit.”
– J. P. Morgan