Ideas and Speeches

Our approach is characterized by continuous learning and hard work. Herein are a handful of AddressesAudio/Video PresentationsArticlesBooks and White Papers that we found thought provoking.
A Father’s Lesson: Keep the Spirit Level by Daniel Foster

A Father’s Lesson: Keep the Spirit Level by Daniel Foster

For decades my carpenter father, who died in 2009, always carried a small wood level in his pocket. He would fish it out and place it on the nearest horizontal surface: shelves, mantels, stairs—even sidewalks. At the neighbor’s, when he thought no one was looking, he would sneak it out and go to work. Is … Read More

The Blindness of Social Wealth by David Brooks

The Blindness of Social Wealth by David Brooks

Bob Hall was a rancher. In 1936, in the midst of the Depression, he was suffering from a cancer that was eating the flesh on the side of his face. His ranch had dwindled to nearly nothing, and weeks after bankers took the last of his livestock, Hall died, leaving his family deeply in debt. … Read More

How to Succeed In Business? Do Less by Morten Hansen

How to Succeed In Business? Do Less by Morten Hansen

By Morten T. Hansen Most Americans work impossibly hard. We put in long hours and maximum effort, but better performance often eludes us. I’m no exception. I remember being in my 20s and landing my dream job as a management consultant at the posh London office of the U.S.-based Boston Consulting Group. I strode through the … Read More

The Secrets to Wealth in America by Warren Buffett

The Secrets to Wealth in America by Warren Buffett

By Warren Buffett I have good news. First, most American children are going to live far better than their parents did. Second, large gains in the living standards of Americans will continue for many generations to come. Some years back, people generally agreed with my optimism. Today, however, pollsters find that most Americans are pessimistic about their … Read More

Senator John McCain’s Remarks at the 2017 Liberty Medal Ceremony

Senator John McCain’s Remarks at the 2017 Liberty Medal Ceremony

Senator John McCain’s remarks after receiving the 2017 Liberty Medal Thank you, Joe [Biden], my old, dear friend, for those mostly undeserved kind words. Vice President Biden and I have known each other for a lot of years now, more than forty, if you’re counting. We knew each other back when we were young and handsome … Read More

Atul Gawande’s 2012 Commencement Address at Williams College

Atul Gawande’s 2012 Commencement Address at Williams College

June 3, 2012We had a patient at my hospital this winter whose story has stuck with me. Mrs. C was eighty-seven years old, a Holocaust survivor from Germany, and she’d come to the emergency room because she’d suddenly lost the vision in her left eye. It tells you something about her that she was at … Read More

Madhav Dhar’s Eulogy to Barton Biggs

Madhav Dhar’s Eulogy to Barton Biggs

September 7, 2012Barton (1932 – 2012) I walked with him. I talked with him. I golfed with him—played squash, tennis, lifted weights with him—climbed mountains with him. I travelled the world with him—I helped create new investment worlds with him. I started funds, businesses and companies with him. I laughed with him. Even cried with him. … Read More

Mike Pence’s Address on the Presidency at Hillsdale College

Mike Pence’s Address on the Presidency at Hillsdale College

September 20, 2010 President and Mrs. Arnn, Mr. John Cervini, Mr. David Bobb, Elliot Gaiser, College Republicans and each and every one of the faculty and students of Hillsdale College here today…. As I am sure you know, honor is what allows us to do what is right despite the cost. Even greater honor is required … Read More

Byron Wien Discusses Lessons Learned in His First 80 Years

Byron Wien Discusses Lessons Learned in His First 80 Years

I was scheduled to speak about the world outlook at an investment conference recently and shortly before my time slot the conference organizer said the audience was more interested in what I had learned over the course of my career than what I had to say about the market. I jotted a few notes down … Read More

Demographic Insights by Professor Stephen Mihm (University of Georgia)

Demographic Insights by Professor Stephen Mihm (University of Georgia)

Written by Stephen Mihm Shortly before Christmas, the U.S. Census Bureau put some coal in the nation’s holiday stocking. It released data highlighting a worrisome trend: The population grew a subdued 0.7 percent, the lowest rate of growth since the Great Depression years of 1936 and 1937. Declines in the birthrate and the slowing pace of … Read More

A Lesson on Elementary, Worldly Wisdom As It Relates To Investment Management & Business Given By Charles Munger at the University of of Southern California

A Lesson on Elementary, Worldly Wisdom As It Relates To Investment Management & Business Given By Charles Munger at the University of of Southern California

Charles Munger – USC Business School I’m going to play a minor trick on you today because the subject of my talk is the art of stock picking as a subdivision of the art of worldly wisdom. That enables me to start talking about worldly wisdom—a much broader topic that interests me because I think all … Read More

Courage Under Fire By Admiral James Stockdale

Courage Under Fire By Admiral James Stockdale

Testing Epictetus’s Doctrines in a Laboratory of Human Behavior James Bond StockdaleI came to the philosophic life as a thirty-eight-year-old naval pilot in grad school at Stanford University. I had been in the navy for twenty years and scarcely ever out of a cockpit. In 1962, I began my second year of studying international relations … Read More

Steve Jobs’ 2005 Commencement Address at Stanford University

Steve Jobs’ 2005 Commencement Address at Stanford University

I am honored to be with you today at your commencement from one of the finest universities in the world. I never graduated from college. Truth be told, this is the closest I’ve ever gotten to a college graduation. Today I want to tell you three stories from my life. That’s it. No big deal. … Read More

David Foster Wallace’s 2005 Commencement Address at Kenyon College

David Foster Wallace’s 2005 Commencement Address at Kenyon College

Transcription of the 2005 Kenyon Commencement Address – May 21, 2005 Written and Delivered by David Foster Wallace (If anybody feels like perspiring [cough], I’d advise you to go ahead, because I’m sure going to. In fact I’m gonna [mumbles while pulling up his gown and taking out a handkerchief from his pocket].) Greetings [“parents”?] … Read More

China Bets on Sensitive U.S. Start-Ups, Worrying the Pentagon

China Bets on Sensitive U.S. Start-Ups, Worrying the Pentagon

By Paul Mozur and Jane Perlez March 22, 2017 HONG KONG — When the United States Air Force wanted help making military robots more perceptive, it turned to a Boston-based artificial intelligence start-up called Neurala. But when Neurala needed money, it got little response from the American military. So Neurala turned to China, landing an undisclosed sum from … Read More

Lou Gehrig’s Farewell to Baseball Address at Yankee Stadium

Lou Gehrig’s Farewell to Baseball Address at Yankee Stadium

Fans, for the past two weeks you have been reading about a bad break I got. Yet today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth.I have been in ballparks for seventeen years and have never received anything but kindness and encouragement from you fans. Look at these grand men. Which … Read More

Courage Under Fire By Peggy Noonan

Courage Under Fire By Peggy Noonan

Forgive me. I’m going to return to a story that has been well documented the past few weeks, and I ask your indulgence. So much has been happening, there are so many things to say, and yet my mind will not leave one thing: the firemen, and what they did. Although their heroism has been widely … Read More

A History of Global Living Conditions in 5 Charts

A History of Global Living Conditions in 5 Charts

A recent survey asked “All things considered, do you think the world is getting better or worse, or neither getting better nor worse?”. In Sweden 10% thought things are getting better, in the US they were only 6%, and in Germany only 4%. Very few people think that the world is getting better. What is … Read More

President John F. Kennedy’s Decision to go to the Moon Address at Rice University

President John F. Kennedy’s Decision to go to the Moon Address at Rice University

President Pitzer, Mr. Vice President, Governor, Congressman Thomas, Senator Wiley, and Congressman Miller, Mr. Webb, Mr. Bell, scientists, distinguished guests, and ladies and gentlemen: I appreciate your president having made me an honorary visiting professor, and I will assure you that my first lecture will be very brief. I am delighted to be here, and I’m particularly … Read More

Bud Day Obituary – What A Hero Looks Like

Bud Day Obituary – What A Hero Looks Like

Bud Day was perhaps the bravest of the brave at the Hanoi Hilton. After serving as a U.S. Marine in World War II, a normal man might have concluded that he had done more than his share of military service. And anyone still alive after his parachute failed to open upon ejection from an Air Force … Read More

President Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address

President Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are … Read More