Sunday Briefing: On ovarian lotteries, optimism, and technological hubris

Sunday Briefing: On ovarian lotteries, optimism, and technological hubris

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Welcome to the Sunday Briefing newsletter where we share some of the interesting lessons in life, business, and investing that we’ve come across during the week.

What we’ve been reading

The ovarian lottery. Imagine that you’re a parent right now living in Afghanistan—a country about to be taken over with any semblance of civility to disappear. If you’re not, your problems pale in comparison and you have won an ovarian lottery.

The case for optimism.

It is extremely difficult to create a desirable future without first envisioning it. To imagine is really the first step in creating anything.

Elon Musk and technological hubris.

As cool and powerful as technology is, economics have always trumped technology, and always will. The reason we don’t have flying cars is not because we lack the technological capabilities as a species to make it happen. It’s because of economics, including energy economics (energetics). It is simply far easier and more energy efficient to roll something along the ground than it is to elevate it and sustain that elevation. The costs of doing so far exceed the benefits.

Quote of the week

Howard Marks on the essence of value investing.

“At Oaktree we say, “Well bought is half sold”. By this we mean we don’t spend a lot of time thinking about what price we’re going to be able to sell a holding for, or when, or to whom, or through what mechanism. If you’ve bought it cheap, eventually those questions will answer themselves.”

A thought

Every investor’s goal is to find asymmetric upside/downside ratios. If you make more when you’re right than you lose when you’re wrong, volatility is your friend in the long run.

Have a great coming week,
Oliver Sung

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