Category Archives: What we read

Book review: “How Life imitates Chess” – Garry Kasparov


By coincidence, I downloaded this book before I got interested in Play Magnus a few months ago. However this clearly motivated me to move the book to the front of the reading list…..

Garry Kasparow has been named as one of the greatest Chess players of all time and became Chess world chmapion in 1985 at the age of 22 and held the title over 15 years. After his chess carreer, he surprisingly went into politics. As a funny side note: Kasparov was involved in founding the first online chess company in 1999. In between he coached younger chess players, for instance Magnus Carlsen in 2009.

In this book, Kasparov tries to transport strategic lessons from Chess into fields like business, politics and investment. In between he also covers his greatest matches, hardest opponents (Karpov !!) and the lessons he learned both, from victories and defeats.

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Some links

The Brooklyn Investor on Howard Marks, RenTech, Bubbles and other stuff

First year review of “Junto” (h/t searching4value)

Ghost kitchens meet celebrities: Innovation in the Restaurant sector

How Solar Power is “eating the energy world”

Great advice: Just buy stocks that go up and sell when it stops going up

Cathie Wood’s “Agressive growth” fund company Ark Investment is doing great

And some annual letters to investors:
TGV Partners
TGV Rubicon
TGV Truffle
Giverny Capital
Massif Capital

Some links

Great long read on Jack Ma and Alibaba

“The friendly Bear” thinks Lemonade is a “ESG Pump and Dump”

Rob Vinall with a great post on Conspiracy theories 

Absolutely must read: Howard Marks on the useless divide between “value” and “growth” investing 

Great summary of Nick Sleep’s (Nomad) investment wisdom

Some stock spin-off ideas for 2021

RenTechs “own money” Medaillion fund had another great year, its funds for outside investors however suffered big losses

Book Review: “Seven Mistakes Every Investor Makes (and how to avoid them)”


Joachim Klement is a native German, London based investment professional who, among other things writes one of my favorite financial blogs named “KOI – Klement on Investing”.

Despite having a full time job and a high quality, frequent blog, he also managed to write a book. Being a German of course, he  doesn’t promise to make one rich quickly but it tries to identify and provide solutions for very common mistakes that indeed almost all investor make.

Although Klement is a more Macro oriented investor, his advice is great also for stock pickers or any other investment styles. He emphasizes a lot of points that I share 100%. The mistakes that he concentrates are:

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Some links

Must read (as always): Rob Vinall’s 2020 letter to investors

FTAlphaville is very skeptical about the Hypgnosis (SONG) business model

A very deep and very skeptical look into

Jeremy Grantham is calling the bubble (good summary of all bubble arguments even if I would suggest to ignore it)

What John Hempton (Bronte) learned in 2020 (Podcast)

Very interesting talk with Weijian Shan, an Asian PE investor and book author

Aggressive Buy: The next German Mega-Unicorn Pöny

Some links

Fred Wilson with some great thoughts on what happened in 2020 and what he thinks will happen in 2021

Swen Lorenz on potential UK take over targets

Good article on Claude Shannon, the “father of information theory”

Long Read: How Substack tries to become the platform for Email Newsletters

A few interesting 2021 predictions from Yetanothervalueblog

More 2021 predictions from Scott Galloway

It is 2020 year end review time for many fellow stock picker blogs such as:

Alpha Vulture blog 2020 performance
Valueinvesting France (French)
Bull, Bear & Value
Global Stock Picking
Preis und Wert Aktienblog (German)
Maynard Peyton
Clark Street Value
searching 4 value

Panic Journal Season 2 – Year End edition: “This time was different”

While I am writing this, the first vaccine shots have been being provided in Germany already yesterday. Despite a relatively strict lock down including a curfew from 9pm in my home town Munich, in general the mood seems to a certain extent upbeat compared to a few weeks/months ago. Time to do a “2020 Covid-19 recap” with another installment of the “Panic Journal”. 

Recap: This time was different

At first, like many “Westerners”, I thought that Covid-19 was not our problem. Like SARS in 2002/2003, MERS in 2012, Ebola 2014-2016, Zika 2015 or the Avian Influenza , this again looked like a “Third World problem”, where the Third World includes China. The first documented cases in Germany at car supplier Webasto seemed to have confirmed this: The infected persons were identified quickly, isolated and all recovered pretty fast. Webasto actually issued a press release in early March that all infected employees were healthy and eager to go  back to work. So “Business as usual” with this “Exotic virus scare”.

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Some links

Eddie Elfenbein with his 2021 Buy list consisting of 25 US large caps stocks

Scotland is now at 90% renewable electricity

Bill Gates with a great update & overview on Covid-19 vaccines and treatments and what to expect in 2021

Very interesting deep look into the value of music back catalogues (FT)

A good reminder: Why waiting for a crash to get into stocks never works

Forager likes troubled UK retailer Bohoo

More on the massive Russian hack that was detected only when they hacked a Cybersecurity company


Some links

An interesting but very scary story on the massive Russian hack that has been detected only recently

Ben Evans on what is next after the smart phone

9 lessons from Cycling (around the world) applied to investing

FTAlphaville on AIM listed company ThinkSmart

Deep thoughts on the future of the Container (ship) industry

Great paper on the recent SPAC mania and on who is holding the bag at the end

Softbank backed Compass is rolling up the US real estate brokerage industry 

Some links

Incredible story how 7 UK oil traders made 660 mn USD when the oil price went negative in April

Investment outlook from Broyhill Asset Management on the “return of Value”

Fred Liu (Hayden Capital) is up 200% this year and likes Afterpay from Australia

Fascinating deep dive into the API economy (Twilio)

Investment advice from 100 years ago (Spoiler: Still highly relevant)

Swen Lorenz from Undervalued Shares likes FEMSA

December update on mostly US spin-off situations

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