Article Reviews

This category contains 86 posts

Calculating Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)

I stumbled upon an article on Andrew Chen‘s blog on calculating Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) and read around some related topics. Some quick notes below. Definitions CAC (Customer Acquisition Cost) Cost to acquire a paying customer CAC = (Marketing + Sales Expenses) / # of New Customers Acquired If your customers are acquired through Google … Continue reading

Personal Finance Tips on Saving Money

Recently read a pretty good article on personal finance, titled Achieving Financial Success Without Extreme Frugality or a Huge Income by Trent Hamm (link here). Overarching Message Critically question every purchase, think about whether it really brings value to your life. If it doesn’t, think about how the spending can be cut down (e.g. store brand, … Continue reading

Statistics on Hedge Fund Launches and Liquidations

Recently read this article on Business Insider titled The bonfire of the hedge funds (link here). It showed some interesting statistics from Hedge Fund Research (HFR) on the number of funds launched and liquidated every quarter since 2008. I found the chart hard to read, so I re-plotted the data as shown. Some summary statistics over … Continue reading

Kevin O’Leary on Money and Investing

I happened to come across an interview with Kevin O’Leary (of Shark Tank fame) on YouTube, and started to jot down some of his comments on investing and personal finance. O’Leary is an advocate of investing in cash flow paying (dividends or interest) securities, as opposed to growth stocks that pay no dividends. One main … Continue reading

Personal Finance Maxims

Read this New York Times article about Harold Pollack, a University of Chicago professor that wrote some maxims of personal finance onto an index card, and subsequently published a book Index Card: Why Personal Finance Doesn’t Have to Be Complicated. The original index card is found here. The article compiled a number of other index cards written … Continue reading

Right of Order Refusal with Barclays’ Electronic FX Trading System

Came across an old (November 2015) Bloomberg article on Barclays’ Last Look functionality in their electronic FX trading system. While there have been lots of complaints from retail FX traders that their orders would run into “technical difficulties” once their trades become too profitable, the article confirms that institutional traders have the same issues when … Continue reading

Nassim Taleb vs. Victor Niederhoffer

My earlier post wrote about how one approaches the markets would differ according to one’s fundamental view about the markets. I came across some articles about Victor Niederhoffer and Nassim Taleb that I think illustrate this very well. In a way, Nassim Taleb is to trend-following as Victor Niederhoffer is to countertrend trading. Taleb goes for … Continue reading

The Loser’s Game (1975)

I recently read a famous article The Loser’s Game written by Charles D. Ellis in 1975. This is one of the articles that kick-started the passive investing movement which continues today. Reading through the article and ignoring the dates, you cannot tell that it was written 40 years ago, as the content still rings true today. There … Continue reading

Soros’ Reflexivity vs. Microeconomics 101

PM Jar recently had a post (link here) on Chapter 1 of George Soros’ Alchemy of Finance. I had never read the book before, but reading through PM Jar’s post, Soros’ point makes a lot of sense. The idea here ties in with Soros’ theory of reflexivity. Basically, in the markets, the actions of market … Continue reading

Seth Klarman on Baupost Group’s Edge

I came across this compilation of quotes from Seth Klarman: The Collected Wisdom of Seth Klarman. Wanted to just capture some of those that speaks more to me. While writing this post, I came across this 2009 interview that Klarman did with TIFF that is pretty good, and have captured some of its points below. … Continue reading

Damodaran: How to Enhance Firm Value and the Value of Control

I came across this presentation by Aswath Damodaran on the value of control (link here). It wrote about the different ways to optimize the value of a company, as well as propose a framework to think about the value of control embedded in market prices, transaction prices, and the prices of voting/non-voting shares. Quick summary below: … Continue reading

Incorporate Macroeconomic Conditions in Value Investing

Came across two video snippets of an interview with Howard Marks from Oaktree Capital Management. Buffett had famously shared that he doesn’t consider macroeconomics when making his investment decisions. Howard Marks in the videos however advocated keeping tabs on the “market’s temperature” and adjusting one’s aggressiveness based on that. Why You Should Look at Macroeconomics It … Continue reading

Notes from Martin Whitman’s Interview with

Just watched a video of an interview with Martin Whitman by (link here). The interview was originally broadcasted on October 24, 2013. Conventional Approach Over-Emphasizes Four Things Earnings Short-term Top-down analysis Efficient market Martin Whitman’s Investment Criteria Don’t acquire common stock unless the company has a super strong financial position. Don’t invest in common … Continue reading

Model Thinking: Notes from Coursera Course by Scott Page

I haven’t been actively posting for some time, but I do have a number of draft posts that are ~90% there. Rather than spending a lot more time to do that last 10% which may not have much value-add in terms of content, I’ll try to get some of these out now with minimal commentary. This … Continue reading

Article Summary: Secret Fears of the Super-Rich

Just read this article published by The Atlantic (link to original article here) titled Secret Fears of the Super-Rich. The article wrote about results from a survey of the wealthy conducted by Boston College’s Center on Wealth and Philanthropy. Most of the respondents have at least $25 million in assets, meaning that they pretty much have complete financial security. … Continue reading

Warren Buffett’s Investing Advice for the Non-Professional

I ended my last post with quotes from Warren Buffett’s latest annual letter to Berkshire’s shareholders. I figured its better to put them in a separate post here. HOW BUFFETT INVESTS Estimate Long-Term Earnings, Buy with a Margin of Safety When Charlie and I buy stocks – which we think of as small portions of … Continue reading

Investing Advice from Mark Cuban

Some time ago I was watching some interviews and articles on Mark Cuban‘s advice on investing. He has unconventional advice, which I actually agree wholeheartedly with. One main point is that he holds cash and only deploys it when he has an advantage. This resonates with Warren Buffett’s style of investing of waiting and preparing … Continue reading

Ranking of Returns of Various Asset Classes from 2003 to 2012

Just came across this pretty nice interactive graphic from Wealthfront which shows how the annual returns of 11 different asset classes compare with one another, from 2003 to 2012. If you hover over any asset class, it will highlight it by greying out the rest so you can see how its ranking changes across the … Continue reading

Notes from Mark Minervini Interviews

After reading Mark Minervini’s book (see review here), I wanted to learn more and started going through his interviews here, audio interviews, a couple of YouTube videos, etc. There isn’t much more on top of what he has in this book. The main takeaway I got was clarification on how he takes profits for winning positions. … Continue reading

Sam Barnett: Rising Hedge Fund Star

I recently came across the name Sam Barnett. He is a 24-year-old founder of a quantitative hedge fund (SBB Research Group) with more than $100M under management. He started the fund after his Sophomore year at college, and the fund started trading on Feb 15, 2011. His story is pretty amazing. He developed a quantitative trading model while … Continue reading

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