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Worldly Wisdom in a Noisy World
The Rational Walk publishes articles providing in-depth content worthy of your time and attention in subjects ranging from markets and investing to philosophy, psychology, and the general human condition. A list of our best articles is a good place for new readers to begin.
Rational Reflections, a free newsletter, provides timely commentary and links to interesting reading on a weekly basis and has over three thousand subscribers.
Never before has so much information been freely available to so many people, yet the attention span of society seems to be shrinking rather than expanding. Our goal is to provide content that is interesting to read, contains original ideas, and can stand the test of time.
- Deprival-Superreaction TendencyDeprival-Superreaction Tendency refers to the human reactions to the experience of loss — both the loss of something one already possesses as well as the loss of something that one has almost obtained. Human beings feel the pain of loss much more intensely than the pleasure of an equivalent gain and there are important consequences stemming from this tendency. This article is part of a series on Charlie Munger’s Psychology of Human Misjudgment.
- Berkshire Hathaway’s Great TransformationOn a spring day in 1964, Warren Buffett received a letter from Seabury Stanton offering to purchase the Buffett Partnership’s stake in Berkshire Hathaway. Buffett and Stanton had agreed to a price of $11.50 but Stanton’s letter offered only $11.375. This annoyed the thirty-three year old Buffett and he started buying more shares starting his long journey of transforming Berkshire Hathaway into what it is today.
- Lighthouse: Women Leading the Way in FinanceMaya Peterson wrote Lighthouse to inspire and empower women to study “female lighthouses in the world of finance.” While these women have navigated different paths, what they have in common is the shared experience of being women in a male-dominated field and how they found ways to overcome challenges. Although young women embarking on their careers will find the stories highly relevant, all readers should be able to draw lessons from the book.
- Buffett’s SEC Filing Implies RepurchasesOn July 8, Warren Buffett submitted a regulatory filing to document his annual contributions of Berkshire Hathaway stock to several charitable foundations. The filing included the total number of shares Buffett held as of July 8 along with the percentage of economic interest of Berkshire he controlled as of that date. Sharp-eyed investors and journalists noted that the disclosure implied that Berkshire has been repurchasing shares.
- The Irrational Tax TrapAs an investor, are you making rational decisions when it comes to taxes? Everyone obviously likes to think that they are rational, but it is quite likely that tax considerations have hurt your results over time. However, hindsight bias and a human tendency to remember triumphs while relegating errors to the deep recesses of memory makes it likely that we have forgotten cases where tax considerations hurt us.
- The Buffalo News: From Butler to BuffettFrom Butler to Buffett provides a great example of the evolution of newspapers from the late nineteenth century up through the consolidation of the industry that was largely complete a hundred years later. Murray Light provides a fascinating account of how the paper transformed from a scrappy startup founded in 1873 into the only surviving newspaper in the city 110 years later following Buffett’s acquisition of the paper.
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Credit for cover art: A Pier Overlooking Dordrecht, early 1640s by Aelbert Cuyp, oil on canvas, National Gallery of Art