Some good reading today.

Charlie Munger’s 2015 Daily Journal Annual Meeting

http://www.forbes.com/sites/phildemuth/2015/04/07/charlie-mungers-2015-daily-journal-annual-meeting-part-1/

http://www.forbes.com/sites/phildemuth/2015/04/13/charlie-mungers-2015-daily-journal-annual-meeting-part-2/

“It’s always wise to be prepared for it getting worse. Favorable surprises are easy to handle. It’s the unfavorable surprises that cause the trouble.”

“Concentrating hard on something that’s important, I can’t succeed at all without doing it. I did not succeed in life by intelligence. I succeeded because I have a long attention span.”

“That is the most important governmental leader, the most important nation builder who ever existed in the history of the world. There is no other record equal to Lee Kuan Yew’s unbelievable achievement.”

“I know no wise person who doesn’t read a lot. I suspect that you can read on the computer now and get a lot of benefit out of it, but I doubt that it’ll work as well as reading print worked for me.”

“It shows how hard and dangerous it is to make money in a commoditized business, and how many businesses that you formerly thought were hugely advantaged can be commoditized.”

“But we have a saying at Berkshire that when a man with a reputation for genius takes on a business with a reputation for tough operating conditions, it’s the reputation of the business that’s likely to prevail. Without government help, getting electric cars off the ground is really hard. In China, it works a lot better than it does here, because their air is worse.”

“Through enormous discipline, enormous will, and enormous intelligence, 3G has adopted a zero-based budgeting system which is more extreme than anybody else’s. Yet they’ve been able to do it time after time in a way where the place ends up as strong or stronger after they’ve removed a lot of the cost. Of course, that’s a very interesting example.”

 

 

Wang Jianlin, a Billionaire at the Intersection of Business and Power in China

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/29/world/asia/wang-jianlin-abillionaire-at-the-intersection-of-business-and-power-in-china.html?_r=0

 

Jeff Bezos in Amazon Annual Letter

https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1018724/000119312515144741/d895323dex991.htm

 

investment philosophy from Day 1

 

 

We will continue to focus relentlessly on our customers.

 

 

We will continue to make investment decisions in light of long-term market leadership considerations rather than short-term profitability considerations or short-term Wall Street reactions.

 

 

We will continue to measure our programs and the effectiveness of our investments analytically, to jettison those that do not provide acceptable returns, and to step up our investment in those that work best. We will continue to learn from both our successes and our failures.


 

We will make bold rather than timid investment decisions where we see a sufficient probability of gaining market leadership advantages. Some of these investments will pay off, others will not, and we will have learned another valuable lesson in either case.

 

 

When forced to choose between optimizing the appearance of our GAAP accounting and maximizing the present value of future cash flows, we’ll take the cash flows.

 

 

We will share our strategic thought processes with you when we make bold choices (to the extent competitive pressures allow), so that you may evaluate for yourselves whether we are making rational long-term leadership investments.

 

 

We will work hard to spend wisely and maintain our lean culture. We understand the importance of continually reinforcing a cost-conscious culture, particularly in a business incurring net losses.

 

 

We will balance our focus on growth with emphasis on long-term profitability and capital management. At this stage, we choose to prioritize growth because we believe that scale is central to achieving the potential of our business model.

 

 

We will continue to focus on hiring and retaining versatile and talented employees, and continue to weight their compensation to stock options rather than cash. We know our success will be largely affected by our ability to attract and retain a motivated employee base, each of whom must think like, and therefore must actually be, an owner.

 

China in Africa

http://www.cfr.org/china/china-africa/p9557