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Circle of Competence Issue #114

"In a time of deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act."

- George Orwell

The Circle of Competence Podcast

Happy Fourth of July weekend to everyone out there! As some of you know who have subscribed to this blog for a while, I've had a podcast on my wish list for close to two years since I started a podcast and needed to shelve it due to lack of time. As Patrick O'Shaughnessy noted in one of his recent podcast newsletters: 1) the best conversations are increasingly happening online and 2) I am learning more from podcasts than from books and articles.

In the Circle of Competence Podcast, I will be focusing on the nexus between entrepreneurship and investing, and exploring how each guest hustled to grow their investment business from the ground up. From real estate to technology to public equities to small business investing and more, I hope this podcast will be a wide-ranging exploration of what it takes to build a sustainable investment operation in today's competitive world.

If you have a guest or two you think would be a great fit for this podcast, I'd love to speak with them about an interview!

Check out the intro episode as well as the first episode with Nathan Reid of Capital Allocation Partners below. Be sure to subscribe on iTunes and YouTube and leave a rating or review! Feedback is welcome.

Episode #00 - Introduction & Purpose (YouTube, Spotify, iTunes)

Episode #01 - Nathan Reid, Founder of Capital Allocation Partners (YouTube, Spotify, iTunes)

Nathan Reid is the founder of Capital Allocation Partners, a real estate private equity firm based out of Phoenix, AZ focused solely on value-add multifamily acquisitions and ground-up development. In this episode, we discuss:

- structuring value-add deals

- alignment of incentives with both investors as well as vendors (contractors)

- real estate in a post-covid world

- biggest mistakes real estate investors make from the perspective of a CPA

For more information, visit the CAP website:

Food for Thought

Josiah Smelser - Friend, Podcaster, Writer, Investor

I connected with a blog subscriber, Josiah Smelser, earlier last month and we've become fast friends ever since. Josiah has a passion for helping people learn about real estate investing as an entrepreneurial venture and has both a podcast and a book dedicated to the space. I'd highly recommend you check out both:

- The Daily Real Estate Investor Podcast is Josiah's podcast focusing on how real estate investors escape the 9-5 grind through investment property.

- Dream It and Build It: How to Crush Your Real Estate Goals is a 'daily devotional' for aspiring investors looking to get into the real estate investment space. It is structured as bite-sized lessons relating to every possible way to get involved in real estate, investment tips and tricks, concepts of money and time, and inspirational sidebars. I read it over a weekend, but it will be a resource I'll go back to often as I continue to push forward in my search for more real estate deals.


Long Term Thinking

Low interest rates allow for long term visions and audacious goals.

But society's collective attention is only 280 characters.

Media is myopic. Decision making is myopic. Attention spans are shrinking at the rate that information flow is expanding.

Isn't it ironic that when the cost of capital is at a historic low, which would allow us to think more long-term than ever, that our attention spans as a society are on average at an all-time low?


TedTalk: How to speak so people will listen to you (Julian Treasure)

The 'Don'ts':

- Gossip

- Lie

- Make excuses

- Negativity

- Judging

- Complaining

- Dogmatism of opinion

The 'Do's':

- Honesty

- Authenticity

- Integrity

- Love


Question I'm Thinking About Most

Covid-19 is largely accelerating trends that were already happening:

- Remote work

- Online education

- Ecommerce

- Geopolitical tensions over censorship vs. free flowing information

What are other accelerating trends that will present business opportunities for those nimble enough to capitalize on a more digital, frictionless, post-covid world?

June Links


Chuck Akre on his investing strategy: the search for outstanding investments (Chuck Akre)

Jeremy Grantham - investing in an uncertain crisis (Invest like the Best)

Ed Chancellor on the capital cycle (CSInvesting)

The looming bank collapse (Frank Partnoy)

Chris Leithner's Q3 Investment Letter (Chris Leithner)

Investing in asset light, real asset business models (Horizon Kinetics, long $TPL)

The best articles by Peter Lynch (Peter Lynch)

The anatomy of a rally (Howard Marks)

Invisible moats (Chris Mayer)

Steve Schwarzman on economic recovery, banking, and more (Bloomberg)

Brookfield's CEO Bruce Flatt on long-term investment outlook (Bloomberg)


The gospel according to Peter Thiel (City Journal)

Financial Stability Report (Federal Reserve)

An apolitical military is essential to maintaining balance among American institutions (UPenn Law) - H/T Brandon Trama

The Global Implications of “Re-education” Technologies in Northwest China (Center for Global Policy) - H/T Brandon Trama


Profile of Wes Edens, Fortress Investments, and his bet on high speed trains (Forbes)

75 years of advertising history (Benedict Evans)

How to angel invest, part 2 (Naval Ravikant)

Why venture capital doesn't build the things we need (MIT Technology Review)

Why developers are fueling the next $1 trillion software wave (Forbes)


50 ideas that changed my life (David Perrell)

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