Moontower #88


This weekend I wrote a musing about the role of randomness in our lives, a surprising trigger word, and my attempt to understand why it bothers me. I broke the musing into 2 parts.

It begins…

Five years ago, the first summer we had in our then new home, we threw a big pool party for Yinh’s family. Yinh’s mom is the eldest of eleven. There were a lot of people. Lots of kids. Uncensored kids. Yinh and I were chatting with a group of middle schoolers when one of them just let it fly:

“Are you rich? What do you do?!”

…continue to part I: My Personal Trigger (Link)

The Money Angle

I maintain a notebook of investing beliefs.

There are 3 categories:

  1. Current Priors
    Examples: Long term bonds offer poor risk/reward or demographics are slow moving drivers of growth rates
  2. Beliefs Graveyard
    Examples: Profit margins should mean revert, printing money leads to inflation, more risk equals more reward
  3. Evergreen Beliefs
    I have publicly shared these on my wiki.

I have recently added another to my “current priors”. It’s a belief that has underpinned my trading style for 20 years but I was only able to name it recently. Why? Because it only revealed itself in relief to what other people think investing is about. By observing how people think about investing, I’ve noticed my current prior is not widely obvious:

Investment edge is about measurement not prediction.

To learn about the distinction, see Measurement Not Prediction (Link)

  • Yang sent me a trailer to a new HBO show called Industry which is set on sell-side trading desk. I haven’t seen it but if all the vests in the trailer are an indication they tried to keep true to the environment.  (Link)

Last Call

  • Socially Distant Santa (JingleRing)

    I haven’t done this but a friend recommended it, if you’d like to have your kids do a virtual visit with Santa. I guess they have wi-fi and Zoom at the North Pole.

  • Dictionary of Numbers (Chrome Extension)

    Dictionary of Numbers is an award-winning Chrome extension that tries to make sense of numbers you encounter on the web by giving you a description of that number in human terms. Like a dictionary describes words you don’t know in terms you do, Dictionary of Numbers puts quantities you’re unfamiliar with in terms you can understand. Because “8 million people” means nothing, but “population of New York City” means everything.

  • Tony Hsieh’s American Tragedy: The SelfDestructive Last Months Of The Zappos Visionary (Forbes)

    This is heavy story of how addiction and loneliness can hind in plain sight. But the more subtle lesson is what being a real friend means. Jewel, yes that Jewel, took that title seriously.

From my actual life 

If you use Spotify, the end of year summary known as Wrapped is a visceral and personal walk-thru of this strange year.

My top artists comprised:

2 folk artists: 1 modern and 1 from the 1960s/70s
2 psychedelic artists: 1 modern and 1 from the 1960s/70s
1 retrowave artist: a modern band does fresh takes on 80s synth pop

Strange temporal symmetry.

Also, this recap indicates that this was much more of a coping year than a party year. Last year my top artists were Tool and a modern, unknown hair metal type band that I saw at the Whiskey. How different a year can be.

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