In this week’s episode, Morgan Housel and I explore the differences between private and public market investing, how to foster innovation and creativity, how businesses are structured and organized, and how Morgan finds interesting books and topics to write about. Morgan is a prolific writer and researcher, who recently left the Motley Fool and is now a partner at the Collaborative Fund, a venture capital fund in New York City.
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30:55 – Diffusion of Innovations – Everett M. Rogers
49:57 – 28 Lessons from Start-ups That Failed – Michael Dariano
1:02:20 – The Great Depression: A Diary – Benjamin Roth
1:36 (first question) – Patrick asks Morgan about his decision to move from The Motley Fool to the Collaborative Fund.
3:50 – What it was like to shift focus from public markets to venture capital and why it’s easier to transition to something different, but within your field.
5:40 – How does investing in the venture world compare to the public markets
7:07 – Why there is so much BS in all sides of finance
9:27 – A look at Morgan’s personal system and where is passion for reading has come from.
10:44 – Why reading is the only way to improve as a writer
11:55 – Sources of good books (Mentioned by both)
13:28 – How Morgan decides what to write about
16:40 – What else are parts of Morgan’s regular routine besides reading that are valuable to him
18:05 – Exploring the Morgan’s personal views on his expensive saving strategy, which is the best way to create wealth
20:21 – The biggest areas to focus on in saving is school, house, and car
20:58 – Is college still worth it if saving money on school is still so important
25:37 – Are people happier and get more joy out of life by having less stuff
27:41 – Exploring the way that the world actually reacts to news at the time (The Wright Brothers Example)
31:48 – How the timing of innovation matters and where we see that in the world of finance/investing. Pets.com is a great example.
34:33 – Are businesses structured in a way that one day we’ll look back upon and question, are there new ways to do it that would be more interesting to look into today. Morgan highlights Zappo’s business structure
36:48 – Patrick highlights the videogame maker Valve and their self-organized business structure.
38:55 – Patrick questions whether the era of conglomerates over and we’ll see more, smaller and decentralized businesses
39:56 – Patrick asks Morgan what skillsets do workers need to succeed in those types of businesses. Morgan stresses the need for more empathy in workers.
43:28 – A look at introversion vs extroversion, and whether that has any impact on people’s empathy skills
45:01 – Morgan talks about his passion for visiting the Library of Congress where he can read old versions of the newspaper and see what the conversation was at the time of major events.
49:11 – Morgan lists the people that are resources for him.
49:51 – The Waiter’s Pad
50:55 – Slate Star Codex (Patrick’s suggestion)
52:25 – What are the things in the financial advisory world/investing world that we’ll look back on and think of as completely absurd.
55:52 – While more things are becoming automated, Morgan points out that we’ll still need real humans to hold customers’ hands and help them out
57:50 – Nicest thing ever done for Morgan professionally, he talks about previous guest Jason Zweig.
59:20 – Now Morgan is asked about the nicest thing he’s done for someone else
1:00:04 – Patrick shares a story about a second cousin that did the kindest thing for him in his life.
1:02:10 – Patrick asks Morgan about a couple of books that have changed his life
1:06:51 – Morgan is asked to look back at his time at the Motley Fool and relive his favorite times there. Morgan starts with how he first connected with them.
1:09:28 – Morgan offers advice to younger investors about getting into the finance industry
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