Updated on 7th September 2016 – Will announce the winner today.
My lord (Warren Buffett) is celebrating his 86th birthday. Cheers!
So to celebrate the occasion, I am giving away ONE new book – ‘The Snowball’ to the winner of this dead simple giveaway.
The book is one of my favorites. It talks about various aspects of Buffett’s life – many of which were earlier unknown to most people. So if you are a Buffett fan and still haven’t read this book, this is your chance.
00:00 Hrs on 30th August to 23:59 Hrs on 6th September
How to Win?
Do either or all of these 3 things:
1 – Leave a comment at the end of this post (‘Happy birthday Warren’ or anything you want)
OR / AND
2 – Leave a comment on this Facebook post, like it and share it with your friends.
OR / AND
3 – Leave a comment on this Twitter status – and Follow & Retweet.
One of the writers whose posts I ensure I don’t miss is Shane Parrish of Farnam Street. What I like about Shane is his philosophy which states: “I am not smart enough to figure out everything myself, so I try to master the best of what other people have already figured out.”
This makes sense…a lot of sense…isn’t it?
In one of his recent posts, he focuses on the principle of AntiFragility – a concept popularized by Nassim Taleb in his book Antifragile. Simply speaking, antifragile things are things that benefit from disorder, obstacles, unexpected events, change, etc.
Some examples which better explain this concept of Anti-Fragile are –
Muscles become stronger when they are pushed to the point of failure.
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
Natural selection, survival of the fittest, where the weak or unadapted perish, leaving the fit to continue on more suited to the environment.
The mythical Hydra, that grows two new heads every time you cut one off.
Hydra – Grows Two Heads Every Time You Cut One
Now being antifragile is not the same as being robust or resilient. Being robust or resilient means that you bounce back quickly from disturbances.
Example: A building can withstand a 9.0 earthquake OR our skin can quickly repair itself after cuts and bruises.
AntiFragility means something else.
In words of Buster Benson, whose post on Living like Hydramakes an excellent case for anti-fragility:
An antifragile way of life is all about finding a way to gain from the inevitable disorder of life. To not only bounce back when things don’t go as planned, but to get stronger, smarter, and better at continuing as a result of running into this disorder.
Here are 10 key principles which these writers think need to be incorporated in one’s life to live a life which can be referred to as an antifragile life:
As you can see, all the above principles (except one) are applicable to one’s financial life as well. When it comes to finances, I prefer to play safe and not experiment much. I know markets are supreme and have a knack of playing with our minds and with any experiments which our minds would want to do every now and then.
It may not be applicable to everyone, but I prefer not to make mistakes in stock markets, even if it means that I will not be able to find the next multibagger.
I have ordered Antifragileby Taleb after reading Shane’s post and am pretty sure that it will change the way I think. Similar to what happened when I was through with another great book, Art of Thinking Clearly. 🙂
Have you read any of these books? If yes, please do share your understandings / wisdom in comments below.
The very first chapter tells us why analyzing mistakes of dead companies can be beneficial for long term investors. If done diligently, this exercise helps one avoid making huge losses in stock markets.
The author asks readers to visit a cemetery or a graveyard.
As an exercise in realization, the author forces us to realize(!) that it is highly probable that number of stories about people/companies’ failures are far higher than those about their success. That is to say that for every one success story being reported in media, there are hundreds unreported ones about failures.
In a great example, he tells that if one was to analyze the Dow Jones Industrial Average (a US index similar to Sensex or Nifty 50), then it would have been easily understood that these indices are made up of ‘out-and-out-survivors.’
The index does not have place for companies which are unable to withstand extremes of economic cycles.
And there is a reason(s) why companies survive. But these reasons are absent in dead bodies of dead companies!
In India, Hindustan Motors and Premier Padmini had monopolistic hold over Indian automobile industry till late 80s. But what happened after that? Company’s resistance to change led to their extinction. Their cars Ambassador and Fiats are nowhere to be seen today. This tells that adaptability to change is one of the key survival factors.
This is one of the books I re-read every now and then. I have gifted many copies to people close to me too. Its a must read, if you want to clear your thought-process about investing as well as life.