Author Topic: 'Why Your Mentors Seem Less Impressive Over Time'  (Read 3222 times)

villainx

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Re: 'Why Your Mentors Seem Less Impressive Over Time'
« Reply #10 on: June 06, 2018, 04:58:48 PM »
I have a continuous big problem with "outsider" and cable cowboy where John Malone seemed to make moves to enrich himself and his insider buddies.  But there's no denying that as a from a distance mentor, Malone remains somewhat aspirational.

I think the mentor part that is slightly confusing, based on what I follow from Liberty from this board, is that he continues to respect and invest in/with the mentor type investor/CEOs, so ... as I mentioned, without specific examples, I'm kind of confused where the "less impressive" part comes in.


Jurgis

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Re: 'Why Your Mentors Seem Less Impressive Over Time'
« Reply #11 on: June 07, 2018, 08:55:49 AM »
I think the mentor part that is slightly confusing, based on what I follow from Liberty from this board, is that he continues to respect and invest in/with the mentor type investor/CEOs, so ... as I mentioned, without specific examples, I'm kind of confused where the "less impressive" part comes in.

I see where Liberty is coming from. Like he said, when you haven't heard about value investing/moat/whatever, reading Buffett/Graham/etc. is like a "wow" experience. When you have heard this for 20 years, it's like "meh, moat, yeah, meh, margin of safety, yeah, meh, capital allocation, yeah, tell me something new".  ;)

I get it that people find some new nuggets in Buffett writing from time to time, but overall, yeah, another BRK letter/Q&A, meh.  ::)  ;)

Edit: There's also the fact that moats erode (or is that walls that erode and moats ?? - fill up?  ::) ) and the concept is not as great and easy to exploit as it was in the day. But that might be separate and more serious thread.  8)
« Last Edit: June 07, 2018, 08:57:45 AM by Jurgis »
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rukawa

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Re: 'Why Your Mentors Seem Less Impressive Over Time'
« Reply #12 on: June 14, 2018, 08:48:05 PM »
I'm still impressed by Faraday. He came up with revolutionary ideas when his mind was failing him and after he had already once fallen into a deep depression due to this. In fact the whole story...Faraday, Maxwell and then the Maxwellians is one of the most impressive things I've ever read. All these men displayed humility, courage, far-sighted vision and seemed to be able to endure when they were pretty much alone in their ideas. The also seemed to care very little for fame, credit or fortune.

Liberty

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Re: 'Why Your Mentors Seem Less Impressive Over Time'
« Reply #13 on: November 26, 2018, 07:29:40 AM »
I wrote a little something else, if anyone's interested:

https://medium.com/@Liberty/formative-years-forever-echo-for-investors-8542ecb0c058
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Cigarbutt

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Re: 'Why Your Mentors Seem Less Impressive Over Time'
« Reply #14 on: November 26, 2018, 08:32:03 AM »
^This is somehow related to the ovarian lottery concept that Mr. Buffett described.
You may be interested in the following:
https://www.cfainstitute.org/-/media/documents/book/rf-publication/2018/risk_compilation_2018.ashx
(pages 22-25)
ftp://ftp.iza.org/SSRN/pdf/dp4365.pdf

So twin studies (which are quite powerful) show that genes play a role but the environment in the "formative" years are crucial and, for investments, early adulthood may be particularly relevant.

And a somewhat relevant presentation:
https://www.alexanderforbes.co.za/download/afo/media-centre/2018%20Indaba%20Presentations/Indaba_The%20Real%20Cost%20of%20Investor%20Behaviour_Morgan%20Housel.pdf

scorpioncapital

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Re: 'Why Your Mentors Seem Less Impressive Over Time'
« Reply #15 on: November 26, 2018, 01:59:38 PM »
My mentors get more impressive over time. Why? Well, I'll give you an example and I hope I'm not the only one. I read voraciously on value investing, moats etc...I nodded my head - yup, True, Amen! But then I go to implement this and perhaps temperament or other foolish blind spots lead me to lose almost all my capital. The experience teaches me alot. I go back to the mentors...who predicatbly are saying the same thing as before since I'm reading the same thing again. But this time, with experience and a deeper visceral insight, I can read the words and see their genius while before it was just a superficial understanding.  I can give you many more examples. There is a wide difference between reading some aspect of a game and actually understanding it deeply. I think mentors understood it deeply so I'm always in awe when I go back and am humbled by something I should have understood more clearly and with all my mind and spirit.

Liberty

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Re: 'Why Your Mentors Seem Less Impressive Over Time'
« Reply #16 on: November 26, 2018, 04:13:42 PM »
scorpioncapital, I agree that's a real phenomenon, but it's different from what I was talking about.

I'd phrase it as: You can have a deeper appreciation for mentors as you get better, even if you aren't are surprised and changed by the things they have to say over time because you're not as starting from as low a base of knowledge.

I think the title of the piece trips people up, but I didn't find a better one at the time... Oh well.
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Jurgis

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Re: 'Why Your Mentors Seem Less Impressive Over Time'
« Reply #17 on: November 27, 2018, 10:20:57 AM »
Quote
The next idea is about how our formative years tend to be a lot more memorable than most random adult years.  Our childhood and teenager years take up a lot of room in both our memories and self-image, and Ive seen older people describe a kind of U shape when they look back at their life. They remember the early stuff clearly, and the recent things, but in the middle it seems a lot fuzzier.

Not true for me. I think changes are memorable. I.e. location changes, school/university/job changes, marital status changes. Plus traumatic and/or very happy memories. Things like travel/vacations are somewhere in the middle: some are memorable like bigger changes, some are mush. Plus some not that special moments that for some reason get stuck into memory (maybe they are somehow special for my brain/mind/persona).


Investing wise, I'm sorry to say I don't think I have the same experience as you. 8) 2008-2009 was memorable because of the huge drawdown. But I started investing around 1996ish, so it wasn't formative for me. But then 1996 and even 2000-2001 tech crash was not formative for me either. I don't remember anything super exciting from these times. I'd have to read my posts/notes to remember what I did (wrong  8)) then.

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Liberty

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Re: 'Why Your Mentors Seem Less Impressive Over Time'
« Reply #18 on: November 27, 2018, 01:07:05 PM »
Quote
The next idea is about how our formative years tend to be a lot more memorable than most random adult years.  Our childhood and teenager years take up a lot of room in both our memories and self-image, and Ive seen older people describe a kind of U shape when they look back at their life. They remember the early stuff clearly, and the recent things, but in the middle it seems a lot fuzzier.

Not true for me. I think changes are memorable. I.e. location changes, school/university/job changes, marital status changes. Plus traumatic and/or very happy memories. Things like travel/vacations are somewhere in the middle: some are memorable like bigger changes, some are mush. Plus some not that special moments that for some reason get stuck into memory (maybe they are somehow special for my brain/mind/persona).

I agree about that, but didn't want to make a big off-topic aside about this.

Of course big changes, trauma, huge happy events, etc are also memorable. But on average, I think it's true that childhood/teenage years tend to be much more memorable than the average year in your 30s or 40s.


Quote
Investing wise, I'm sorry to say I don't think I have the same experience as you. 8) 2008-2009 was memorable because of the huge drawdown. But I started investing around 1996ish, so it wasn't formative for me. But then 1996 and even 2000-2001 tech crash was not formative for me either. I don't remember anything super exciting from these times. I'd have to read my posts/notes to remember what I did (wrong  8)) then.

If you don't remember anything exciting about the late 90s and early 2000s, maybe you weren't paying much attention?  ;)
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Jurgis

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Re: 'Why Your Mentors Seem Less Impressive Over Time'
« Reply #19 on: November 27, 2018, 01:42:23 PM »
Investing wise, I'm sorry to say I don't think I have the same experience as you. 8) 2008-2009 was memorable because of the huge drawdown. But I started investing around 1996ish, so it wasn't formative for me. But then 1996 and even 2000-2001 tech crash was not formative for me either. I don't remember anything super exciting from these times. I'd have to read my posts/notes to remember what I did (wrong  8)) then.

If you don't remember anything exciting about the late 90s and early 2000s, maybe you weren't paying much attention?  ;)

Apart from being stupid and not investing into BRK?  ;)
And not going to Wesco shareholders' meeting that was in my backyard (more or less)?  :'(

Nah, I remember bits and pieces. Possibly enough to give a fun half hour talk - especially if I dug through my records, numbers and notes.
But honestly I remember pretty much zero from the tech crash of 2001. Like I'm trying to remember anything right now and nothing comes to my mind...  ::)


You might be right about not paying attention. I remember other things (not investing) from that timeframe more.  8)
"Before you can be rich, you must be poor." - Nef Anyo
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"American History X", "Milk", "The Insider", "Dirty Money", "LBJ"