LinksThe Notebook

The Notebook | Jan 2019

News gets old quickly. And yearly wraps can go out of fashion even as January draws to close. But sharing two such links here – notes I read recently which respectively sum up 2018, and neatly list the major events to watch out for in 2019. Both together can be read as a reflection on the times, and a good way to navigate the current markets.

First one is the flavor of the times or talk of the town Baupost/ Seth Klarman letter. It is not freely available on the internet. It keeps surfacing up. Last I found it was here.  The second note is this really efficient preview of events/ trends to watch out for in 2019 by Nikkei Asian Review. For me, it stood out for its coverage, and that it packs a lot in few words.

Even as the preview note ages quickly over the next few weeks or months, I feel that the Baupost letter holds enough in it for me to come back to it again and again irrespective of the year. Even right now, there are lots of notes, thoughts, questions and  ideas triggered by it.  It is one of the more efficient reads for me in recent times. It covers a lot of ground, in a fairly deep way. By itself, it is a good stand-alone read on the current state of the global economy and capital markets. But if you operate in the financial markets, the benefits are akin to that of apprenticeship, of practice and not just theory. Views are aplenty, widely published, and easily accessible, but very few writings can convey thought process, insights on the ways of looking and considering, assessing, approaching and evaluating. Something to come back to and read again.

Another heart-warming read was this post ‘How to be successful’ by Sam Altman. If you can move past the title, it is quite a refreshing read. Life lessons. Advice. Provides an opportunity to clear the mental clutter and go back to basics – work hard, compounded returns, focus. Cliched, yet profound (as DFW would say it).  Glad to have come across it.  There are days when such inspiration comes in quite handy, akin to wind in your sails. Leads to clear-headed thinking and an approach that goes back to fundamentals. Would like to find it again sometime in the future. Worth keeping, and sharing.

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