Fortune favors the bold. (But it favors the patient even more.)

Boldness is a culturally seductive concept—especially stacked against something more prosaic like patience. But in investing in public markets, the ability to stay patient and rational—particularly during short-term market turbulence—is arguably more important than boldness over the long-term. This concept was well-articulated by James Anderson in his recent conversation with Barry Ritholtz. The discussion ranges from James’ probabilistic frameworks to riding winning stocks, seizing exponential growth, and his public exhortation that fund managers should “remain eccentric.” (I agree!)

For the uninitiated, James is a partner at Scotland’s Baillie Gifford, the investing giant that now manages some $470 billion in client assets. I first wrote about James in Issue #10 of the Nightcrawler last May, but the truth is I’ve spent many years watching and admiring his ability to stay singularly focused on the big picture, especially during the inevitable drawdowns. “What we’re looking for is era-defining companies,” James says.

[As an aside, the podcast also reminded me of a good quote by Charlie Munger that my colleague Zak Lash messaged me today: “If you can’t stomach 50% declines in your investment, you will get the mediocre returns you deserve.”]

“I think that we are also doing an element of top-down envisioning of what the world looks like… but it’s not from ‘what is the Fed about to do?’ And to be frank, even if I knew what the Fed was about to do, I’m not sure it would help me make good decisions. But it is trying to think what are going to be the main driving forces of our economy over the years to come, and where can there be forces of change, and where can we get insight into them. So rather than looking for what a bunch of market commentators and hedge funds are saying, we try to talk to academics and scientists who can give us some checkpoints on whether those fundamental points are happening.” [Link to transcript]


The future of autonomous mobility—human AV pods?

I’m a sucker for any conversation that forces me to radically rethink assumptions I’ve made about certain technological paradigm shifts, and this Q&A and podcast conversation between Azeem Azhar (author of The Exponential View) and Horace Dediu did just that. Dediu—a former student of Clayton Christensen—contends that the future of transportation will be driven largely by “micromobility.” (That is, tiny autonomous EVs.) He also believes that this shift in the underlying transportation “tech stack” will lead to a physical re-imagination of urban landscapes and roadway infrastructure as we know it.

It may sound outlandish at first, but it’s hard to argue with the First Principles logic: The physical shape of the car hasn’t changed much since the late 19th century, and 5-passenger vehicles are generally  underutilized a huge percentage of the time. Enabling technologies, such as autonomy and electric motors, will force us to rethink assumptions about the optimal modality for a vehicle. As Azeem writes in his opening: “Roughly 80% of all urban trips are less than two miles long, and people are starting to realize that it doesn’t make sense to take those trips in a car.” Horace adds: “We are moving towards a bespoke solution for all the micro problems we may have… The idea of micromobility is that, ‘let’s fit the right tool for their job.'”

“We are stuck in a 19th-century construct for transport, which is that a very large vehicle, which is capable of very high speeds, and very much cargo, it needs to transport small packets, which are people. All I’m saying is that we are in an historical accident. This phase will disappear at some point. This error will change, and we’re going to go back to a more logical way of transporting people. And we have the means to do so, in terms of electric battery motor, and communications, and all of these other components that are necessary. Those enabling technologies have been around for quite a few years already.”

A few more links I enjoyed: 

“I’m interested in original thought. I’m not saying that artists shouldn’t take inspiration from other artists. All artists take inspiration from other artists. There’s this lovely parallel [with investors]. It has to go beyond taking inspiration. The art has to push something further.”
“Ashley Carman joins Jason & Molly to discuss Spotify’s acquisition of podcast ad-tech companies Chartable and Podsights. Ashley is a senior reporter at The Verge and the lead writer at HotPod. We dig into why she thinks Spotify’s main competition is YouTube and how the Big Tech and Big Media podcasting efforts are playing out.” (H/T Cam Tierney)
“Sebastian Mallaby is a journalist and author. His latest book, The Power Law, is an exploration of the history and impact of venture capital that seeks to explain how VCs see the world and why it matters. In this conversation, we discuss why VC is so different from any other asset class, why VC networks should be considered a third core institution of capitalism alongside firms and markets, and whether VC has a positive impact in the world.”

This information should not be considered a recommendation to purchase or sell any particular security. It should not be assumed that any of the investments or strategies referenced were or will be profitable, or that investment recommendations or decisions we make in the future will be profitable. This article contains links to 3rd party websites and is used for informational purposes only. This does not constitute as an endorsement of any kind. While Nightview uses sources it considers to be reliable, no guarantee is made regarding the accuracy of information or data provided by third-party sources. Nightview Capital Management, LLC (Nightview Capital) is an independent investment adviser registered under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, as amended. Registration does not imply a certain level of skill or training. More information about Nightview Capital including our investment strategies and objectives can be found in our ADV Part 2, which is available upon request.