C&B Notes

Investing is a discipline built on cumulative knowledge, and it requires a continuous evaluation and assessment of new information. The purpose of C&B Notes is to pass along the ideas, concepts, stories, and information that are informing, influencing, and updating our worldview. We use them to build on our “latticework of mental models” that help us make better decisions.

16 articles in list

Some Good News

In case you have not seen any of the episodes, we would encourage you to spend a few minutes on John Krasinski’s SomeGoodNews.  Krasinski will lift your spirits and provide a nice antidote to the COVID-19 news flow.  Your whole…

Read More

Food Delivery Landscape

On our recent trip to South America, we were struck by the growth in delivery sales for large QSR brands like McDonald’s and Burger King.  We are interested in whether delivery’s impact on the global restaurant industry will be enduring…

Read More

Rising Above the Din

Among the array of advertisements that are competing for consumers’ attention, a car commercial and a furniture concept caught our eye.  BMW’s cheeky tip of the cap to a strong competitor and IKEA’s nostalgic appeal to old TV shows are…

Read More

Good for Users, Bad for Business

Venture capital investments are subsidizing products and services for consumers.  An analysis of the operations for Lime and Bird, two competing electric scooter rental companies, tells a story of big unit economic losses on these companies’ scooters. Greater fools may…

Read More

Wood Skyscrapers Are a Thing

Promising labor cost savings and condensed building schedules, timber is re-emerging in the commercial construction industry.  “Mass timber” — which is harvested from small, young trees and engineered into large pieces — is being used in new building projects that are paving the way for amended building codes and…

Read More

Cohort vs. Age Effects

In November, we shared a paper by the Federal Reserve that reported some of its research on the oft-maligned millennial generation. The report’s major thrust: millennials have more in common with other generations than not.  This xkcd comic is a great complement to the Fed’s paper….

Read More

Not So Different

For millennia, people including Socrates have been concerned about the behavior of future generations.  A new paper by the Federal Reserve suggests what we have always suspected: millennials have more in common with other generations than not.  To be clear,…

Read More

Spurious Correlation

Tyler Vigen’s book, Spurious Correlations, highlights the absurdity of drawing causation from information where only correlation exists.  Reminders that correlation ≠ causation are always useful given our natural instincts to build narratives to explain data and anecdotes we encounter. This spurious correlation…

Read More

T-Swift is playing Chess

Taylor Swift recognized that an immediately sold-out show, like a stock price pop on the day of a company’s IPO, meant that she was leaving money on the table for someone else to capture.  Trying to optimize for average ticket…

Read More

Redefining the Odds

This remarkable story about Bill Benter, who built an algorithm that cracked the code of horse racing and generated billions in winnings, reminded us of Charlie Munger’s analogy of the stock market as a pari-mutuel betting system.  Both John Kelly,…

Read More

If You Lose it, Where Does It Go?

Physicist Ruben Meerman shares the fundamentals of weight loss — burn more calories than you digest. Dieting is a field full of crowd-sourced misinformation that influences billions of dollars of consumption and many people’s life expectancies.  Science works.

Read More

Short And Sweet

Academia is not noted for its pithiness when publishing research findings.  Short, concise, and easy-to-understand writing is a dying art.  A new economics journal hopes to provide an option for readers looking for quality over quantity. A backlash is building…

Read More