Book List

Book Review: You Can be a Stock Market Genius, by Joel Greenblatt

During my first Winter Break since 2003, I had the chance to read You Can be a Stock Market Genius, by Joel Greenblatt.  This book seemed like a logical step after reading The Intelligent Investor, by Benjamin Graham, and Value Investing: From Graham to Buffett and Beyond, by Bruce Greenwald.

Graham, and by extension Greenwald, focus on the analysis of cheap companies, or put another way: They focus on Value Investing. Often, this means analyzing, and potentially purchasing companies with low P/E multiples. To me, Graham and Greenwald’s discussion of value investing is intellectually interesting, but frankly, I find its application practically elusive.  It is difficult to discern whether a (more…)

Bing Gordon Speaks at USC

Better late than never.  Below is a week overdue summary of Bing Gordon’s speech at USC on October 14, 2010.  Bing was the Chief Creative Officer of Electronic Arts from 1998 to 2008 (after holding a myriad of other positions at EA since his involvement in its founding in 1982).  Today he is a Partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.  As a Kleiner Perkins Partner, he sits on the board of some impressive companies, including Zynga and Amazon. If you want to learn more about Bing, here is his CrunchBase profile.  Bing is a light-hearted, insightful person, so be ready for an entertaining yet powerful discussion.

Before I dive into Bing’s discussion, I want to thank my classmate Ashkun Zaker for putting together the outline that served as the backbone for this post, an outline which I have edited and expanded.  Thanks for the guidance Ashkun!

Bing led off the night with an age breakdown (more…)

Economics: Are People Always Rational?

Am I always rational?  Yes.  At least I would like to think the answer to this question is yes, but in reality, I’m guessing the answer to this question is somewhere closer to usually.  Presumably most people are in the same position (except for those who are irrational — yes Kim Jong-il, I’m looking at you).  I raise the issue of rationality because yesterday in Professor Eastin’s MicroEcon class we touched on a topic I have recently been interested in: behavioral economics.

For the non-econ members of the crowd, let’s quickly review the three tenets of economics: 1) people respond to incentives, 2) optimal decisions are made at the margin (e.g. marginal cost, marginal utility, etc.), and 3) people are rational.  I’m on board with (more…)