Capital Allocators Monthly - December 2019

January 6, 2020 by Ted Seides

Announcements and Gratitudes

*  Podcasting has taken me in directions I never could have imagined.  I thought by now I’d be back to investing a multi-manager portfolio. Instead, I’m advising allocators, serving on Advisory Boards of managers, hosting private podcasts, giving presentations on frameworks of allocators, and working on content joint ventures.  All while waiting patiently for the right opportunity to get back in the ring!

Reading (Ordered by reading time: tweets first, books last, and blog posts and articles in between) 

1.  Commodities. Really?  Commodities spice up your portfolio for the long-term. Sounds like a stretch – even for contrarians – but when the words and data come from Jason Zwieg, you have to do a double take.

2.  Work-Life Balance. Jason Fried, co-founder of workflow software Basecamp, tweeted that companies requiring work on weekends are inefficient. The response was varied, including a tweet suggesting sacrifice is required in your 20s for career success, a refrain popularized by Scott Galloway in The Algebra of Happiness. Fried’s co-founder came back with this tweet retort.  Bottom line: there is no single path to success, whatever “success” means to you.

3.  The Magic of Twitter.  This is extraordinary. A little followed twitter user named Liz (@LAForeverHall) shares 100 insightful opinions on investing. Far deeper and more nuanced than your typical investment advice.

4. Boola Boola.  Former Navy SEAL James Hatch matriculated at Yale this fall at the tender age of 52. In a nation increasingly questioning the value of a college education, Hatch describes the very best of of what Yale has to offer.

5.  Chop Wood, Carry Water, Jordan Metcalf.  Elegantly short and sweet read about the process of becoming great.

BONUS: My Favorite Reads of 2019.
a. Atomic Habits and Weekly 3-2-1 email, by James Clear.
b. Three Simple Steps, by Trevor Blake.
c. The Misuse of Pre-Mortems on Wall Street, by Paul Johnson, Paul Sonkin and Gary Klein.
d. Chop Wood, Carry Water, by Jordan Metcalf.

Capital Allocators
Episode 114: Anne Martin – Pulling the Oars as CIO at Wesleyan. One-time Olympic rower and Yale Investments alum Anne Martin describes her take on managing a $1 billion endowment.

Episode 115: Kip McDaniel – How to Get an Allocator’s Attention.  Institutional Investor’s Kip McDaniel talks about lessons in making content relevant.

Episode 116: Neal Triplett and Kim Lew – Issues of Management at Duke and Carnegie.  CIOs at Duke University and Carnegie Corporation conducted a panel with me at TIFF’s Annual Meeting on issues in their roles.

Episode 117: Dr. Sarel Vorster – Conducting Brain Surgery.  Noted brain surgeon at the Cleveland Clinic, Dr. Vorster walks through the process of conducting surgery and incumbent lessons in risk and process when lives are on the line.

Episode 118: The Best of 2019. A rundown of the 10 most downloaded episodes of the year.

Have a Happy and Prosperous New Year!