Thinking and Walking – Morgan Housel [Invest Like the Best EP.04]

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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Books Mentioned

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

1:05:04 Since Yesterday, Only Yesterday, The Big Change – Frederick L. Allen

Other Links:

The Wright Brothers Example

The Waiter’s Pad

Slate Star Codex

Paul Gramm Essays, entry What you can’t say.

Show Notes

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. 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)

51:41 – Paul Gramm Essays, entry What you can’t say. (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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