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Circle of Competence Issue #39

Quote of the week: "I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens." - Abraham Lincoln, Official Proclamation of Thanksgiving, October 3, 1861


Giving thanks and a little history

As we enter into the Holiday season, it is a great time to reflect on this year's blessings, successes, failures, and most importantly - the lessons learned. I encourage all of my readers to take some time to reflect and think about where the year has taken you and where you are headed - financially, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. I also want to say Thank You to the Circle of Competence weekly readers and subscribers - I am truly blessed to have your feedback, your recommendations, and your support. My end goal has always been and will always be to educate and help expand each reader's circle of competence.

To that end, I would like to point your attention to the rich history of Thanksgiving in our country since its birth. Washington declared November 26th, 1789 as a national day of thanks for the nation's blessings and independence. This tradition continued through the years until finally in 1863, Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a national holiday. The remarkable thing about this proclamation is that it was issued squarely in the middle of the Civil War, only a month before his famous Gettysburg Address. It is rich with praise and thanks directed towards God for the nation's industry, productivity, and prosperity - in the midst of grievous suffering for the nation. I imagine it must have been a morale booster for both the soldiers and the families at home to have a nationally declared time of praise and thanksgiving during such dark times. This serves as a powerful reminder of how cultivating an attitude of gratitude and positivity can be a light in the midst of darkness.


I am starting a podcast in the next week or two around the theme of 'circle of competence.' One of my readers, Neil O'Donnell, approached me about doing something together and we settled on the idea of distilling lessons learned from legendary investors and business operators into bite sized podcasts (25-45 minute). While we will start with us two discussing a different topic each week, we are also building up a list of guests that we'd like to talk with over the next year or so - if you have a guest recommendation who you think would be open to an interview, please shoot it my way either through the contact tab or in response to the newsletter. While I will continue to write the column, I plan on centering it around the podcast's show notes and topic discussed. I look forward to getting more feedback on our first few episodes and encourage readers and listeners to submit topics or questions to us as frequently as you wish - the more feedback and suggestions we get, the better the content will be!

Have a great week!

- Benton


- Paul Tudor Jones claims we are in a debt bubble (CNBC)

- Watch as Bill Ackman, 28, asks a question on Berkshire's Solomon Brothers investment at the '57 mark in the 1994 shareholders meeting (CNBC, H/T Neil O.)

- Warren Buffett's advice to entrepreneurs (H/T Steve P.)

- Why 'many-model' thinkers make better decisions (Harvard Business Review)

- An evolve or die moment for the world' s great investors

- Trailer park stocks proved to be resilient in market slumps and recessions (Market Watch, H/T Kris B.)


- Current market conditions on The Investors Podcast

- Focused Compounding interview with Ian Cassel

- The real estate guys radio on passive equity vs. debt investing in real estate

- A mindset of success with Nick Santonastasso on BiggerPockets

- Past, present, and future of quant with Clif Asness on Invest Like The Best

- Scott Adams discusses media syndication on Masters in Business with Barry Ritholtz

- This is how the unicorn bubble will burst on Odd Lots with Bill Janeway

- Unreal tax benefits of qualified opportunity zones - the alternative investor


- Korean Amazon-like firm, Coupang, raises $2B from Softbank Vision fund (TechCrunch)

- When Elon Musk tunnels under your home (The Atlantic)

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