Matt Franz : Zealous For Knowledge

What I’m Reading – 11/17/17

1. Inside Trump’s Cruel Campaign Against The U.S.D.A’s Scientists 

By Michael Lewis, Vanity Fair

Its very name is seriously misleading—most of what it does has little to do with agriculture. It runs 193 million acres of national forest and grasslands, for instance. It is charged with inspecting almost all the animals people eat, including the nine billion birds a year. Buried inside it is a massive science program; a bank with $220 billion in assets; plus a large fleet of aircraft for firefighting. It monitors catfish farms. It maintains a shooting range inside its D.C. headquarters. It keeps an apiary on its roof, to study bee-colony collapse.

2. 16 Investing Lessons from a Superinvestor the World Forgot

By  Vishal Khandelwal

Overall, Schloss screened for companies ideally trading at discounts to book value, with no or low debt, and managements that owned enough company stock to make them want to do the right thing by shareholders.

If he liked what he saw, he bought a little and called the company for financial statements. He read these documents, paying special attention to footnotes.

One question he tried to answer from the numbers was: Was the management honest (meaning not overly greedy)?

All this paid Schloss and his investors very well, especially because he stayed true to this philosophy for a long-long time.

3. A Q&A With Renowned Investor Lou Simpson

By Robert Korajczyk, Kellogg Insight

One thing a lot of investors do is they cut their flowers and water their weeds. They sell their winners and keep their losers, hoping the losers will come back even. Generally, it’s more effective to cut your weeds and water your flowers. Sell the things that didn’t work out, and let the things that are working out run.

4. Isaac Newton Learned About Financial Gravity The Hard Way

By Jason Zweig

“As the bubble continued inflating, it appears that he panicked,” Prof. Odlyzko writes of Newton. The great scientist, throwing his rationality to the winds, plunked £26,000 into South Sea shares on June 14, 1720, at a price of about 700 per share — twice what he had sold them for only a few weeks earlier.

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