Here are my favourite stories from the last couple of weeks:
- Who was Charles Ponzi? An excerpt from a book about the history of the two great financial crises of the last 100 years focusing on the mythical man behind the Ponzi scheme. The money quote: "That Ponzi’s promise to double his investors’ money in ninety days had not raised red flags says something about the readiness of investors to suspend disbelief in the intoxicating financial atmosphere of the 1920s". That's a clear warning to me.
- Buy-and-hold fund prospers with no new bets in 80 years A fund placed a bunch of bets on the equity market in 1935 and haven't bough a single new stock since then. The fund has performed fairly well over the years and is a clear indictment of the active "investment management" racket.
- House of Strength Sometimes you read something that delights you because it's so unexpected. French photographer Jeremy Suyker's photo essay was exactly that for me. A fascinating look into an esoteric spiritual / fitness Persian tradition.
- How Tyler Brûlé has extended Monocle beyond simply a magazine for the jet set My cousin brought one of the first issues of Monocle on a vacation in Greece 8 years ago and I have been hooked to this magazine ever since. I am happy that the company still thrives and is profitable and shows that a viable high-quality print publication is possible today.
- 50 Years of Berkshire Annual Letters: Here are Some Highlights It is one of my goals to one day read all of the Berkshire Hathaway annual letters. This will probably required 2-3 days of full concentration, preferably on a Mediterranean vacation. Since that is not likely to happen any time soon, I have to settle for this WSJ's pithy summary of each year's highlight.