The Journal no. 5 – January 21, ​2018

Welcome to The Journal. My goal with The Journal is to post once a week a list of everything that I found interesting from investing, design, architecture, and much more. Here is what I found interesting this week:

Articles

Jeff Bezos, Mr. Amazon, Steps Out 

Is Amazon Going to Rule the World? – WSJ (Video)

Tractor-trailers without a human at the wheel will soon barrel onto highways near you. What will this mean for the nation’s 1.7 million truck drivers? by David H. Freedman – MIT Technology Review

NEVER TOO SMALL ep.2 Miniature artist Daniel Dorall – 2 min

Mid-Century Modern Desk Build – 5 min

Jordan B. Peterson on 12 Rules for Life – 90 min

Podcast

#489: The Invisible Plumbing Of Our Economy – Planet Money – 23 min

What Does a C.E.O. Actually Do? – Freakonomics Radio -39 min

Connor Leonard – Capital Light Compounders & Reinvestment Moats – Invest Like the Best – 66 min

Tweets

 

Thanks for reading, see you next week!

Balal Rasool

 

 

 

 

The Journal no. 4 – January 14, ​2018

Welcome to the third issue of The Journal. My goal with The Journal is to post once a week a list of everything that I found interesting. Here is what I found interesting this week:

Articles

The Year Climate Change Began to Spin Out of Control By James Temple – MIT Technology Review

Wealthfront raises $75 million to help millennials invest By  – TechCrunch

The humble genius who built the first synthetic gene By Karen Hao – Quartz

Invest Like Bill Gates With These 2 Canadian Dividend-Growth Kings By Joey Frenette – The Motley Fool Canada

The business of improving global health By Bill Gates – Gates Notes

10 Things Investors Can Expect in 2018 By  – A Wealth of Common Sense 

David Gardner on Why We Invest – The Motley Fool

Lessons from the 1980s for disruption. – 13D Research

Annual Letter from Planet Earth By

Cool sh*t

Villa Vingt – Uncrate

Lichen House – Uncrate

911 LoveRS – Amazon

Take a Tour Of This Perfectly Minimal Canadian Villa – The Ultralinx

Ford Bronco Dallas – blessthisstuff

Type 2 – Ressence Watches

Videos

Ethereum Co-Founder Charles Hoskinson Video | ICOs and the Future of Investing – 32 min

The Ultimate Paper Airplane | WIRED – 8 min

Ford electric scooter first ride – 4 min

Podcast

49 – Charge!: The Bull Case for Tesla by Adventures in Finance: A Real Vision Podcast

Small Studio

Since about two years ago, I have been fascinated by Garden room / Studio. In fact, I am thinking about building one in our backyard. A couple of months ago, I found 30X40 Design Workshop and, this week, I watched the 14 part video playlist from the sketches to the construction of a Small Studio.

The ONE Thing

I finished reading The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results by Gary W. Keller and Jay Papasan this week on audible. It was a five and a half hours listen. The book was good, but it was extremely long. I think it could be recused to a shorter book. The one-sentence summary of the book is to dream big in life and to focus on one thing in life. There is one idea of Jerry Seinfeld that I will certainly be using in the future. In the book, a person asked Jerry Seinfeld what he does in order to be so good. Jerry Seinfeld said that he has a calendar and, every time he writes jokes, he marks a red X on the calendar. His goal is not to bread the chain. This is the second time I heard about Jerry Seinfeld calendar method. The first time was in last week’s book Millennial Money: How Young Investors Can Build a Fortune by Patrick O’Shaughnessy.

“After a few days you’ll have a chain. Just keep at it and the chain will grow longer every day. You’ll like seeing that chain, especially when you get a few weeks under your belt. Your only job next is to not break the chain.” -Jerry Seinfeld

The Acquirer’s Multiple

I finished reading The Acquirer’s Multiple: How the Billionaire Contrarians of Deep Value Beat the Market by Tobias E. Carlisle. I have listened to Tobias on a couple of investing podcast. For example, I listened to him on The Investor Podcast by Stig and Preston and a couple of others. I found the book really good and learned a lot from the book. The Acquirer’s Multiple is a continuation of the work of The Little Book That Beats the Market by Joel Greenblatt. I enjoyed reading about the early career of Warrant Buffet and Carl Icon. I really loved the book, and I am planning to reread the book in the future.

The 4 Best Books I Read in 2017

Last year, I read 21 books which was a big accomplishment since the year prior I only read one book. I recently wrote a post on The 4 Best Books I Read in 2017. If you did not read it, please check it out here and let me know what was your best read last year.

Thanks for reading, see you next week!

Balal Rasool

 

The Journal no. 3 – January 7, ​2018

Welcome to the third issue of The Journal. My goal with The Journal is to post once a week a list of everything that I found interesting. Here is what I found interesting this week:

Articles

The 99 best things that happened in 2017 By Angus Hervey – Quartz

Alibaba is trying to reinvent China’s mom-and-pop stores By Karen Hao – Quartz

A world of free movement would be $78 trillion richer By The Economist

Four Amazing Things Gene Editing Did in 2017 – By Emily Mullin – MIT Technology Review

Making China Great Again By  – The New Yorker

Videos

Inside the mind of a master procrastinator | Tim Urban – 14 min

How to manage your time more effectively (according to machines) – Brian Christian – 5 min

Podcasts

Naval Ravikant on Reading, Happiness, Systems for Decision Making, Habits, Radical Honesty –  121 min

David Gardner – Finding Companies That Break the Rules – [Invest Like the Best, EP.54] – 77 min

Designing a Driverless City – 29 min

Millennial Money

On New Year day, I finished reading Millennial Money: How Young Investors Can Build a Fortune by Patrick O’Shaughnessy. The book was fascinating. It was filled with useful information about investing and the way a millennial should invest as soon as possible to see the effect of computing. Like the Magic Formula found in the book The Little Book That Beats the Market by Joel GreenblattPatrick has his own criteria when he invests in a basket of stock with the help of momentum and value investing. I enjoyed reading Millennial Money and I learned a lot about Patrick’s insight. I would recommend reading the book to new investors and to millennials thinking about investing. Patrick O’Shaughnessy has a very interesting podcast about investing named Invest Like the Best I would recommend listening to it.

Sapiens

Last year, I bought Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari and I wanted to read the book but never got around to do it. Last week, I bought the audiobook on audible and I am happy to say that I finished listening to Sapiens. Sapiens is the best book I have read so far, and I would recommend it to everyone. I really enjoyed listening to the part about The Unification of Humankind and The Science Revolution. I know for a fact that this will not be the last time I read the book. I look forward reading the sequel Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari.

The 4 Best Books I Read in 2017

Last year, I read 21 books which was a big accomplishment since the year prior I only read one book. I recently wrote a post on The 4 Best Books I Read in 2017. If you did not read it, please check it out here and let me know what was your best read last year.

Thanks for reading, see you next week!

Balal Rasool

The 4 Best Books I Read in 2017

Last year, I read 21 books and here are the four best books I read in 2017.

Here are my top four books:

Life 3.0 by Max Tegmark

I read Life 3.0 by Max Tegmark, a Swedish-American cosmologist, after reading a tweet by Elon Musk. Life 3.0 is a book that talks about AI. By reading this book, I learned the pros and the cons of AI, the need to have something like a Geneva Convention for regulating AI, why something like universal income will be mandatory in the future because of the loss of jobs to machines, and the evolution of humans with AI.

The Dhandho Investor by Mohnish Pabrai

The Dhandho Investor by Mohnish Pabrai is the best Investing book I read last year. I read the book last month, and I have been a big fan of Mohnish Pabrai. The Dhandho Investor is very interesting and filled with useful information about how to invest in the stock market or in businesses without losing money and obtaining a high return on your investment. I love the mantra that Mohnish gives in the book “Heads; I win; tails, I don’t lose much!” I will be following this mantra in the future whenever I am investing in a company to reduce my risk of losing money.

The Fish That Ate the Whale: The Life and Times of America’s Banana King by Rich Cohen

I heard about Sam Zemurray when I was reading The Obstacle Is the Way by Ryan Holiday. The Fish That Ate the Whale tells the story of Sam Zemurray from his arrival in America in 1891 to become one of the richest and most powerful men in the world. By reading this book, I learned a lot about business, history, and the incredible journey of Sam Zemurray for running one of the biggest company and becoming a threat to foreign nations.

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

Meditations is a series of personal writings by Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor from 161 to 180 AD, recording his private notes to himself and ideas on Stoic philosophy. Marcus Aurelius is named as one of the Good Emperors. Meditations is filled with a lot of wisdom. It will probably not be the last time I will be reading this book. In fact, I intend to read Meditations once every year because I don’t think reading the book once gives justice to the incredible notes of Marcus Aurelius.

Honorable mentions:

  1. Seven Brief Lessons on Physics by Carlo Rovelli
  2. Angel: How to Invest in Technology Startups—Timeless Advice from an Angel Investor Who Turned $100,000 into $100,000,000 by Jason Calacanis
  3. The Little Book That Beats the Market by Joel Greenblatt
  4. The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right by Atul Gawande [Book Review]
  5. Gratitude by Oliver Sacks
  6. The Motley Fool Investment Guide: Third Edition: How the Fools Beat Wall Street’s Wise Men and How You Can Too by Tom Gardner and David Gardner

Here is a list of all the book I read this year:

  1. Angel: How to Invest in Technology Startups—Timeless Advice from an Angel Investor Who Turned $100,000 into $100,000,000 by Jason Calacanis
  2. The Most Important Thing: Uncommon Sense for the Thoughtful Investor by Howard Marks
  3. Seven Brief Lessons on Physics by Carlo Rovelli
  4. The Fish That Ate the Whale: The Life and Times of America’s Banana King by Rich Cohen
  5. Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence by Max Tegmark
  6. The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph by Ryan Holiday
  7. The Neatest Little Guide to Stock Market Investing by Jason Kelly [Book Review]
  8. L’Étranger by Albert Camus
  9. Learn to Earn: A Beginner’s Guide to the Basics of Investing and Business by Peter Lynch [Book Review]
  10. Lion by Saroo Brierley
  11. The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right by Atul Gawande [Book Review]
  12. The Little Book That Beats the Market by Joel Greenblatt
  13. The Motley Fool Investment Guide: Third Edition: How the Fools Beat Wall Street’s Wise Men and How You Can Too by Tom Gardner and David Gardner
  14. Discipline Equals Freedom: Field Manual by Jocko Willink
  15. Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
  16. How to Read a Financial Report: Wringing Vital Signs Out of the Numbers by John A. Tracy
  17. Gratitude by Oliver Sacks
  18. Crush It!: Why Now Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion by Gary Vaynerchuk
  19. The Dhandho Investor: The Low-Risk Value Method to High Returns by Mohnish Pabrai
  20. Investing 101: From Stocks and Bonds to ETFs and IPOs, an Essential Primer on Building a Profitable Portfolio by Michele Cagan [Book Review]
  21. The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (and When to Stick) by Seth Godin

Currently Reading:

  1. Millennial Money: How Young Investors Can Build a Fortune by Patrick O’Shaughnessy

  2. Principles: Life and Work by Ray Dalio

  3. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

  4. Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction by Philip E. Tetlock, Dan Gardner

  5. The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg


All book links are Amazon affiliate link

The Journal no. 2 – December 31, ​2017

Welcome to the second issue of The Journal. My goal with The Journal is to post once a week a list of everything that I found interesting. Here is what I found interesting this week:

Articles

Ten years in, nobody has come up with a use for blockchain By Kai Stinchcombe -Hackernoon

How Southeast Asia’s ride-hailing apps are outmaneuvering Uber. By 13D Research

We’re Going to Need More Lithium By Jessica Shankleman, Tom Biesheuvel, Joe Ryan, and Dave Merrill – Bloomberg

The Year in Money By Laurie Meisler – Bloomberg

The future of grocery shopping has arrived in China By Karen Hao – Quartz

Who is Marcus Aurelius? The Last Great Stoic of Rome – Farnam Street

cocoon modules + coco-mat envision nomadic dwelling with a container house prototype – Designboom

yuan architects elevates housing in taiwan to provide privacy and outdoor activity space – Designboom

RIGI design renews a single family building in shanghai and lights it up – Designboom

All-Electric Morgan EV3 Will Go Into Production in 2018  -HypeBeast

Yamazaki USA Tower Magazine Rack – Cool Material

Kahn Design Flying Huntsman 6×6 Soft Top – Cool Material

Lift Standing Desk – opendesk

Videos

Mark Cuban In Conversation With Kyle Bass | Real Vision Video – 55 min

How Machines Learn – 9 min

Charlie Munger Commencement Address – USC – 33 min

Podcasts

Live Episode! The Home Depot: Arthur Blank – 33 min

Lessons from Bozoma Saint John — From Spike Lee to Uber, From Ghana to Silicon Valley – 106 min

Principles: Life and Work

I am currently reading Principles by Ray Dalio. I heard about Ray Dalio a couple of years ago by watching How The Economic Machine Works, a fascinating video. Since He is a private person, I was very excited when I heard that he has a book coming this year. Principles is a three-part book. The first part talks about Ray Dalio’s Career and what it took him to overcome his failure. The second part is Ray Dalio’s Life Principles, which is what I am currently reading, and the final part is Ray Dalio’s Work Principles.

Here are some interviews about the book with Ray Dalio:

Ray Dalio, Principles, The Evolution of Bridgewater Associates, & Meditation | #AskGaryVee 275 – 63 min

Tony Robbins interviews billionaire Ray Dalio – author of Principles – 66 min

Life Lessons from a Self-Made Billionaire: My Conversation with Ray Dalio – Farnam Street

Ray Dalio, The Steve Jobs of Investing – Tim Fessis – 128 min

How The Economic Machine Works by Ray Dalio – 31 min

Here is an excerpt from the book that made me think about the size of the universe :

“Through our own eyes, we are everything – e.g., when we die, the whole world disappears. So to most people (and to other species) dying is the worst thing possible, and it is of paramount importance that we have the best life possible. However, when we look down on ourselves through the eyes of nature we are of absolutely no significance. It is a reality that each one of us is only one of about seven billion of our species alive today and that our species is only one of about ten million species on our planet. Earth is just one of about 100 billion planets in our galaxy, which is just one of about two trillion galaxies in the universe. And our lifetimes are only about 1/3,000 of humanity’s existence, which itself is only 1/20,000 of the Earth’s existence. In other words, we are unbelievably tiny and short-lived and no matter what we accomplish, our impact will be insignificant.”  – p. 149

Thanks for reading, happy new year and see you next week!

Balal Rasool

The Journal – December 24, ​2017

Welcome to the first issue of The Journal. My goal with The Journal is to post once a week a list of everything that I found interesting.

Articles:

CRISPR in 2018: Coming to a Human Near You by Emily Mullin

Why Young Investors Should Hope For a Crash by Michael Batnick

This $5 Billion Encrypted App Isn’t for Sale at Any Price By Stepan KravchenkoNour Al Ali, and Ilya Khrennikov

Videos:

A Conversation with Charlie Munger and Michigan Ross – 2017 – 56 min

Mohnish Pabrai Lecture at Boston College (Carroll School of Mgmt) – Nov 30, 2017 – 140 min

Making a Flipbook Machine – 10 min

Vertical Farming

Last year for the first time, I grew vegetable plants in my backyard, and I found fascinating seeing the plants grow and eating fresh plants whenever I want. Now that it is winter, I am looking for a way to grow plants indoors, and I found out about The Smart Farm by Click And Grow. It is a ridiculous 9 900$ indoor farm that can grow 288 plants. When I was doing some research to look at commercial uses of vertical framing and their benefits, I found these two videos very interesting.

Tokyo’s Vertical Farms – The Future of Farming | WIRED – 3 min

This Farm of the Future Uses No Soil and 95% Less Water – 4 min

The Investor Podcast

For about two weeks, I have been listening to The Investor Podcast. I used to listen to some of their podcasts and now, that I am more interested in value investing, I have listened to all their episodes until episode 123. I have learned a lot from listening to their podcasts, and I would recommend them to everybody who wants to learn more about value investing.

The Dhandho Investor

I finished reading this week The Dhandho Investor by  Mohnish Pabra. The book is very interesting and filled with useful information about how to invest in the stock market or a business without losing money and obtaining a high return on your investment. I would recommend the book, like the podcasts, to everybody who wants to learn more about value investing.

SeekingAlpha

For about three years, I have have been very passionate about the stock market and all things business. After acquiring a pretty good knowledge about the stock market, by any mean, I am not an expert I decided to become a contributor to seekingalpha.com. I wrote two articles, one last month and one this week. Please, check it out and any feedback will be really appreciated.

Dream Global REIT: A Low-Risk Company With An 6.74% Yield

Tucows – Ting Is The Future!

Thanks for reading, happy holidays and see you next week!

Balal Rasool

Brookfield Asset Management: My Thoughts

After reading the book Angle by Jason Calacanis, a very successful angel investor, I decided to copy his idea by writing a blog about the companies I am investing. Before I talk about what I like, what I believe can go wrong and my thoughts here is a summary about the company.

Brookfield Asset Management is a global alternative asset manager with over $250 Billion in asset around more than 30 countries. Brookfield Asset Management started investing in real assets 115 years ago and now invests in different sectors, such as real states, infrastructures, renewable power and private equity. Brookfield Asset Management owns large stakes in thesis publicly traded companies: Brookfield Property Partners L.P., Brookfield Renewable Partners L.P., Brookfield Infrastructure Partners L.P., and Brookfield Business Partners L.P. Brookfield Asset Management is a trader in the TSX under the symbol BAM.A and in the NYSE under the symbol BAM.

Screen Shot 2017-09-08 at 11.24.58 PM
Source: Brookfield Asset Management
Screen Shot 2017-09-10 at 9.02.09 PM
Percentage of Ownership In the all the LP. Source: Q2 2017 Corporate Profile p.20

What I like?

Brookfield is a diversified company that invests in real assesses across all its sectors. Essentially, they are the backbone of the economies in their sectors. Brookfield has a world-class management team that manages this business wonderfully with a long-term horizon.

What can go wrong?

The impaction of Brexit or any political situation such as the corruption in the Brazilian government can impact the company, but only for a short amount of time. I believe a global recession can affect the real estate division of Brookfield. Moreover, if the trend continues in the retail, it can also affect the company, which is a big position in their property portfolio.

My thoughts

I really like Brookfield Asset Management for the future because it is one of the world’s best value-investment firms. I believe Brookfield Asset Management is a low-risk company that will go nowhere and that will bring wonder in the future. I certainly will hold my stake in Brookfield for as long as I can or for the next couple of decades.

Disclaimer: I own Brookfield Asset Management and I have invested in Brookfield Property Partners LP, Brookfield Renewable Partners LP, and Brookfield Infrastructure Partners L.P. for my dad. These are my personal thoughts. They are NOT an advice and I do not recommend to buy stocks before doing your own research about the company.

 

Book Review – The Checklist Manifesto

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If someone told you there is a way to improve everything and to reduce the percentage of error to a minimum, would you use it? This thing has been used by pilots for the longest time to reduce the risk of accidents and to save lives. Recently, other professions also started to use it. And this thing is free!!! In fact, you have probably used it a couple of times. Of course, I am talking about checklists.
I found “The Checklist Manifesto” by Atul Gawande at a used book sale for 1$ and it was well worth. The information inside the book is worth a thousand times more.
Atul Gawande is an American surgeon, writer, and public health researcher.
When I learned the benefits of checklists, I was sold on the idea of using them in the future. Here is why. Since the implementation of checklists in their day-to-day routine, pilots significantly reduced their rate of accidents. Not only checklists prevented disasters from happening, but it also helped pilots to better communicate and work as a team.
By learning about the success pilots got by using checklists, the World Health Organization (WHO) conducted a pilot program in eight cities around the world to improve the rate of surgeries. The WHO made a checklist for surgeons and their staffs to use in their operations.
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By reading this book, I found that in order to improve something or to reduce the rate of mistakes, you don’t need to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars. Something as simple as a checklist can be as powerful or even better than high-tech machinery, software or technique.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn how to tackle a problem or a project. I learned a lot and it helps me view things differently. This book taught me that solutions do not have to be complex to be effective.

The biggest mistake to avoid if you are investing in a different country.

Since I started investing, most of my investments were domestic investments. To diversify and reduce risks, I wanted to be more exposed to the rest of the world. Especially the US stock market, which is the biggest market. In the rush to diversify my portfolio, I made a big mistake. This mistake was that I purchased US stock in CAD instead of USD. It may seem that this is not a big deal, but it is. I bought shares in Solar City long before its acquisition by Tesla. The process did not go like I was expecting. I thought if I bought the shares in the currency which are being sold ( USD). I would have that amount in my investment account in USD. It went in a whole different way. My SolarCity shares were both in CAD than transferred to USD and then back to CAD.  Not only I paid the commission fees, I also paid a premium for the exchange of currency, which brought my average cost higher than the stock bought. If I had converted the amount in USD and it would’ve stayed in that amount. After the premium by average transferred was 44.08$ instead of 43.44$.  0.64$ doesn’t seem a lot but when you multiplied by the number of shares you can clearly see the difference. Not only the problem with this is that I had a higher average cost I had to worry about the currency rate. There are two things to worry about and the volatility is transferred. There is a simple solution for this I wish I found it before but if I had you wouldn’t know the mistake and prevent form. The solution I found,  is to open a brokerage account in USD. From that account to buy companies from the US stock market. Like this, you don’t have to worry about the exchange rate because the money will only be converted once.

Book reviewed: Learn to Earn by John Rothchild and Peter Lynch

719aak0tVwL.jpgLearn to Earn” by John Rothchild and Peter Lynch is a book for any investor and anyone interning to learn how a company earns money.

The book accomplishes on what it sets out to accomplish by showcasing that capitalism is the best economic system.

The author, John Rothchild, is most know for his work as the former editor of Washington Monthly as well as a former columnist for Time and Fortune.

The co-author, Peter Lynch, is an investor know the As the manager of the Magellan Fund at Fidelity Investments between the years 1977 and 1990. Peter Lynch averaged a 29.2% annual return with is mindblowing.

I enjoyed reading the book. The book helps me confirm my thought that the best economic system is capitalism for the company, the consumer and the investor.

I enjoyed the first chapter where the author briefs a quick history lesson of capitalism and explain without a capitalist country like the United-stade would it prosper as it did. I also like the appendix two where the author helps ride a company balance sheet.

The only thing the I did like is that the book isn’t updated and the references are old. Unless this I enjoyed reading the book.

I would recommend this book to anyone interning to learn how a company earn money and to learn about the stocks.