I have been handling a lot of newbie queries nowadays - on how to make the most of VP accumulated Learning base. While the earnest student spends her time exploring the site, most are probably a bit flummoxed at the huge content base built up over last 10+ years. Most want/need a quick guide to the most valuable sections. Sections where we have (cared enough) to capture most of our distilled practical learnings over the years.
I am myself surprised that we haven’t actually systematically captured this in some easy-to-find place. Though I am quite sure most of us (seniors) would have provided these links multiple times, at multiple threads. So to save my handholding time and yours, here’s a starting List.
Most of our distilled practical learnings are captured here.
You can explore on your own, but here are some of the most appreciated.
Hall of Fame
In addition the Management Q&As and Stock Stories are the best practical education we ever had. The above (hall of fame and learning) sections wouldn’t have come about as crisply perhaps had we not attempted these extensive Q&As with Management.
Management Q&A (make sure to click on the “Older posts” link at bottom)
Stock Stories (concise 1-pager on the business, scroll down from the top)
Another query is on what kind of books to start reading. Though this section is easy for serious learners to find at VP, I am again not-so-surprised, given the information explosion, that most new people have seen/read useful stuff at You Tube and other platforms and some have done quick courses with folks - but probably neglected to ask that vital question on the foundational starting blocks - so to say.
Sans the benefit of the foundational starting blocks, many end up reading/viewing/doing a whole lot of stuff - where they are unable to qualify CONTENT QUALITY. Some of the following should help set the right context/expectations out of abundantly available Learning Material.
Now once the basics are in, which some serious new students would polish off in probably 6 months, question arises about Accelerated Learning - how do I refine what I am leaning/experimenting.
Please explore the Accelerated Learning section, for the same. Most of the content here is from Annual VP Conferences (again a huge goldmine) but I am told the most appreciated sections are Individual journey/Learnings presentations.
Explore freely, and I am sure each one of of you will find something that resonates with you as an investor/style.
For those who are even more hungry - to sharpen-the-saw - in the hunt for more practically useful learnings - Michael Mauboussin is perhaps most-often cited as the go-to-guy. Will find the time later sometime to point to some of his most valuable/most practically useful ones (as per me).
Meanwhile, just a link to the resource page should suffice
PAT Dorsey’s 5 Rules for Successful Investing
And for someone who actually wants to learn step-by-step DIY Stock Analysis/Valuation like the experts, there is no other better practical guide than this one above.
(You don’t hear much about it, probably THE most underrated Investment book ever, but a real goldmine!)
Done for now I think. This is what I mostly share with folks new to VP and/or Equity Investing.
Will add to this starting list if I think of some more valuable corners, I missed mentioning
And anything for the hungrier/passionate learner ?
I can vouch if I had some senior drawing out something like this for me in 2010/11 timeframes, I would have been his/her lifelong disciple. All Mentors will point you towards developing/firming up your own Mental Models (somewhat subconscious decision-tree - everyone has them - strong decision-impacters - NOT easy to articulate though).
This is something I had great fun with when I completed this in one inspired flow in 2020.
Pity, we haven’t taken this forward systematically/prioritised this.
Warning: this is not for the faint-hearted; only the most passionate ones would probably persist with understanding/absorbing and delivering a model like this for their favourite business. From personal experience I can tell this was huge for me. In fact my Guru Mr D (Capital Allocation and Art of Valuation fame) complimented us on this. His comments you guys have finally nailed it. He meant the process part. I am sure the Product part can be improved a few notches (if I find some passionate young ones driving this) with more placeholder-boxes to prompt the right questions while thinking about any business.
PS: Inspiration for Mental Models - Poor Charlies Almanack
Passionate/Curious ones MUST give this full attention. It was THE most promising/intoxicating investing-related book I ever read - spent full nights on 3 occasions unable to put it down. Alas! the next morning I would be unable to capture in 2-3 paras - what all that excitement was about . I gave up after 3 tries in 2011, decided that Mr Munger has deliberately kept it - just that bit - beyond our easy grasp. One has to churn and churn through ones experiences/decisions/discussions with seniors to be able to deliver on this I guess