How to Read and Get SMARTER

Go Straight

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The Buffett Formula — How To Get Smarter from http://www.farnamstreetblog.com/ 

“The best thing a human being can do is to help another human being know more.”
— Charlie Munger

“Go to bed smarter than when you woke up.”
— Charlie Munger

Most people go though life not really getting any smarter. Why? They simply won’t do the work required.

It’s easy to come home, sit on the couch, watch TV and zone out until bed time rolls around. But that’s not really going to help you get smarter.

Sure you can go into the office the next day and discuss the details of last night’s episode of Mad Men or Game of Thrones. Sure you know what happened on Survivor. But that’s not knowledge accumulation, it’s a mind-numbing sedative.

You can acquire knowledge if you want it.

In fact there is a simple formula, which if followed is almost certain to make you smarter over time. Simple but not easy.

It involves a lot of hard work.

We’ll call it the Buffett formula, named after Warren Buffett and his longtime business partner at Berkshire Hathaway, Charlie Munger. These two are an extraordinary combination of minds. They are also learning machines.

Read more every day here: http://www.farnamstreetblog.com/

 

Commenting on what it means to have knowledge, in How To Read A Book, (PLEASE follow that link!) Mortimer Adler writes: “The person who says he knows what he thinks but cannot express it usually does not know what he thinks.”

Can you explain what you know to someone else? Try it. Pick an idea you think you have a grasp of and write it out on a sheet of paper as if you were explaining it to someone else. (see The Feynman Technique and here, if you want to improve retention.)

Nature or Nurture?

Another way to get smarter, outside of reading, is to start surround yourself with people who are not afraid to challenge your ideas.

Like what you’re reading? Join thousands of others and get a free weekly update via email.

“Develop into a lifelong self-learner through voracious reading; cultivate curiosity and strive to become a little wiser every day.” — Charlie Munger

Read more posts on Farnam Street on:
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Progress, changes in the index and more money in circulation.

Have a good weekend.  I highly recommend, HOW TO READ A BOOK by Adler.

You will become a better analyst/investor. Plus, I need everyone here to become a whole lot smarter the next time I pose a “brain crusher.”

5 responses to “How to Read and Get SMARTER

  1. Great post as usual.
    I was wondering if you have any tactics for targeting what exactly you read, and knowing what is likely to be the most relevant and useful? How do you stay on topic and avoid going off on tangents with your reading?
    Thanks.

    • Dear Rick:

      When I read a 10K, I always think of this : http://youtu.be/yzBB0xYImmM

      You got that! SHOW ME THE MONEY! I go right to ROIC, then I look at sales growth, cash, debt, footnotes.

      If it is a spin-off, I ask what the compensation will be for the new management of the spin-off company.

      You have to be reading with a purpose. You are looking to REJECT companies, not accept them. You are like the prettiest girl at the bar–just say no.

      Practice!

  2. Hello,

    We are a not-for-profit educational organization, founded by Mortimer Adler and we have recently made an exciting discovery–three years after writing the wonderfully expanded third edition of How to Read a Book, Mortimer Adler and Charles Van Doren made a series of thirteen 14-minute videos–lively discussing the art of reading. The videos were produced by Encyclopaedia Britannica. For reasons unknown, sometime after their original publication, these videos were lost.

    Three hours with Mortimer Adler and Charles Van Doren, lively discussing the art of reading, on one DVD. A must for libraries and classroom teaching the art of reading.

    I cannot exaggerate how instructive these programs are–we are so sure that you will agree, if you are not completely satisfied, we will refund your donation.

    Please go here to see a clip and learn more:

    http://www.thegreatideas.org/HowToReadABook.htm

    ISBN: 978-1-61535-311-8

    Thank you,

    Max Weismann

  3. John,

    Can you please get in touch with me.

    Thank you.

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