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October 2009

Recs

13

Even Buffett isn't perfect, but then neither is this book.

October 20, 2009 – Comments (3)

So while I was at the library looking for something else, I noticed a book on the shelf titled "Even Buffett isn't perfect" by Vahan Jangigian. I grabbed it hoping for some really good analysis of Buffett's mistakes, with some real insight into the behavioral financial aspects of the bad investments. No such luck. What I got was a beginner level book that advocated momentum investing as a valid strategy. (Which it is, but not doing it is not one of Buffett's mistakes.)

One thing that the author kept mentioning was that Buffett used DCF calculations as part of his determination of intrinsic value. The reason this is weird is that Charlie has mentioned never having seen Warren perform a DCF. And if Charlie hasn't then the author sure hasn't either. Likewise, Alice Schroeder, who as part of writing The Snowball had complete access to the Berkshire files, never found much in the way of calculation, just some scribbled notes about the various acquisitions.

Another thing I found particularly annoying was when the author tried to refute Buffett's views on taxes without mentioning the ovarian lottery argument at all. Usually if you try to attack someone's conclusion, you have to show where in their argument they went wrong. Instead the author simply asserts that Buffett is wrong. Even though I disagree with Buffett on taxes, the author's attack on Buffett's position is amazingly lame.

Bottom line? Skip this book and read one of the Chairman's letters from the Berkshire website. You'll be happier and learn more.

I did learn one useful thing from the book though.
Steve Forbes wrote the forward and is fulsomly praised by the author. (Who is an employee of Forbes.) After reading the forward, Forbes looks like a bigger tool than I thought. And I thought he was a pretty big tool to start with.  [more]

Recs

15

Another LED Bulb

October 08, 2009 – Comments (13)

So I was at the local Kroger and while wandering around, I noticed that they were carrying LED lightbulbs. Now if you remember my post a few months ago, an LED replacement for a 65 watt flood bulb in a canister proved less than satisfactory mostly due to the light being much too blue and directional.  [more]

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