The Competence Library

The evidence is out there. In the world of investing, much like life, there is no alternative to continuous learning. Warren Buffett, the Oracle of Omaha, mentor to a legion of investors over the past 50 years and arguably the greatest investor ever has called it the ‘Circle of Competence’. According to him, it is very important for investors to clearly know and enlarge their circle of competence, but always stay within its perimeters.

Giving heed to Mr. Buffett’s advice, about 9 months back I started this journey to becoming a better investor. Here I share the resources that I am using in my daily life to continually go up the learning curve, improve my circle of competence and grow my investing skills. I call this place, in honour, ‘The Competence Library’.

Books & Novels

1. Books on Investing and Capital Allocation
2. Books on Entrepreneurship and Leadership

Websites & Articles

1. Words of Wisdom: Writings of Famous Investors
2. Other Informative Websites

Videos & Playlists

1. Investing – How to Think
2. Investing – What to Think


1. Valuation Techniques
2. Financial Markets

Books on Investing and Capital Allocation

  1. The Little Book of Valuation: How to Value a Company, Pick a Stock and Profit by Aswath Damodaran (currently reading)
  2. The Little Book That Beats the Market by Joel Greenblatt
  3. The Dhandho Investor: The Low-Risk Value Method to High Returns by Mohnish Pabrai
  4. The Warren Buffett Way: Investment Strategies of the World’s Greatest Investor by Robert G. Hagstrom
  5. Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits by Philip A. Fischer
  6. Conservative Investors Sleep Well by Philip A. Fischer
  7. Developing an Investment Philosophy by Philip A. Fischer
  8. Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki

The Journey Into Twilight

Dia noite 1

Ah! How I remember those days now
Like a lore or a poem or a distant dream
Those younger days of mirth and joy
Upon which I had once tread

How fair and majestic shone the sun then
How its rays kissed the morning mist
How green and exuberant the grass danced
Like a toddler with his favourite toy

The morn turned to an early noon
Bringing youth and energy with its powerful gleam
My days were spent with books and gale
The best part of my life, I now feel

But the early noon not lasting long
Quickly turned aged and pale
The abrupt death of morning and youth
My two strong pillars suddenly fell

Thus alone I was left with my lone companion
To face the harsh and barren sun
Oh how swiftly had he changed
From glistening light to a burning train

I battled long and hard lonesome
To give my two parts their misty morning
And after the strain and all the pain
I wished for rest and tarry for my wounds

Oh how rightly were my wishes met
For there came the evening and shadows galore
Not dark and terrible as those of the noon
But cool and glorious with stars and an early moon

My body is now tired, I feel so spent
Like too little butter on too much bread
My heart feels stretched, my mind feels drained
The weary long journey is now coming to an end

And now as I ponder, being in the twilight of my day
My heart runs in and out of those memories
Some fair and white, some dark and sorrowful
I see, I have come to a far, distant land

Oh! How I started from a misty morning
And how has the darkness crept
The day has been long, longer than many
For this one day has seen numerous nights already

But still I live on, waiting with anxious heart
For not long ahead my night now lays
As I reach here upon the high night
All alone, not even my lone companion to stay

But don’t cry my friend, for it has been a lovely day
A perfect one, as many would say
It is not of the departure, that should sadden your heart
But of the loss and fall of a wonderful day

I now bid adieu to all my friends
So distant and yet so near they feel
My day is over and night has come
I do now into darkness, fade away

Let your heart be happy, oh dearest of all
And always remember an unforgettable journey
For the journey to twilight was not a waste
A journey of pride and of a mortal day!

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Reblog: Opinionate: What I learnt from my first 709 days at work

One of my mentors always used to tell me that as a professional it is always important to be able to distance yourself from an on-going situation and be able to take a step back and observe the big picture. He emphasized the ability to play the role of an objective third party, to be mindful of one’s own actions and be aware of the consequences. Too many people go through their careers without ever realizing what is happening to them. I was glad therefore to read what my brother had to say in his blog on ‘What I learnt from my first 709 days at work’.

I am heartened to note that very early in his career he has been able to demystify the corporate world and develop strong professional ethics that will hold him in good stead over the long haul. His blog covers 8 important lessons that he has learnt over his near 2 years at Deloitte and you will do well to go through them. It was an excellent refresher for me, having spent almost 10 years behind the desk, to learn from somebody who is new and fresh in his professional career. I am sure people falling within all experience buckets will find it useful too.

So go ahead and enjoy reading (and may be learning from) my brother’s experiences! If you have the time, go through his page; you’ll find that, like me, he is well adept at both prose and poetry, but unlike me, he is far better at articulating his thoughts and much much funnier!

Ever learning!

This is the Sciolist.

Signing out!!!

Show some love! If you liked my post, hit the Like button below and share it with your friends! I write poems too. Check out a popular one here! Thank You for being awesome 🙂

Sciolism: Terribly Tiny Tales #3

  1. It was 6:30 PM. Grudgingly, she got up. “He had promised to be here by the 5:30 train” she thought. It was the 20th anniversary of that promise.
  2. He knew he had to get it right this time. All his previous attempts were foiled, some due to lack of preparation, others due to celestial interjection. This time however, he was confident of success. He could hear the train approaching. Closer. Closer. Screaming, he jumped “Death, is only the beginning.”

What did you think of my post? Do let me know in the Comments Section below. Check out my last post here! Thank You for being awesome 🙂

April 2018 Update: What have I been up to?

It is been a while since I last wrote in January 2018. In my last post I talked about the small adjustments that I had started making to increase the free time available to me. And what have I done with those extra two hours per day? I pleasantly report that I have been up to some amazing things! Here’s a roundup of what has kept me busy:

1. Reading, more reading and then some
You may recall that I took on 2018 with the humble goal of reading 16 books. Over the past three months I have indeed upped the ante. I have gobbled 8 books since and I’m extremely optimistic of handsomely beating my goal over the next 8 months. I have read books primarily across three genres: Finance, Thriller and wherever you put Think like a Freak. Check out what I have read here!

Because I’m Happy!

2. A tête-à-tête with Tennis
People who know me know of my on-again-off-again love affair with tennis. I recently went back to this lovely game after a gap of almost 3 years and I’m currently trying to get my game back. Tennis has been one of my biggest disappointments till date, which I am hoping will become one my biggest personal successes in the future. Somehow, I keep going back to the game, keep learning-unlearning-relearning all the different nuances, tricks, and knacks that I can. I am hoping to be back in the circuit for good this time and clawing my way to my peak one serve at a time.

3. La photographie
As surprising as this may sound, I took up photography classes in March this year, courtesy my wife. I enrolled into the foundation course of National Institute of Photography and spent over 40 hours learning things like shutter time, aperture, focal length, ISO, grains, aberration, contrast, lighting, so on and so forth. I now have bragging rights of calling myself an ‘Amateur Photographer’ having learnt some fundamentals of handling a DSLR.

So there it is! My mentor once said something to the effect of – “You have to keep running, just to be able to stand still.” It rings so true at this moment. As I head full throttle towards 30, I am focused on learning new things, be it in work or play. Hopefully my new skill is just around the corner. Till then!

This is the Sciolist.

Signing out!!!

Show some love! If you liked my post, hit the Like button below and share it with your friends! I write poems too. Check out a popular one here! Thank You for being awesome 🙂

Why Do We Travel?

Why do we travel? #Poetry #NewPost #Sciolism

Wanderlust feet, with a map in my hand and dreams in my eyes!

Do we travel to arrive?
If yes, where do we reach?

Or do we travel for the journey?
If yes, what does it teach?

Do we travel for the experience?
If yes, what fills the page?

Or do we travel to grow?
If yes, how much do we age?

Do we travel for joy?
If yes, how long does it last?

Do we travel for redemption?
If yes, do we move on from past?

I guess we travel to live
Through lives of others around
I guess we travel to meet ourselves
By traversing this universe’s ground.

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Small changes, big difference: How I added two hours to my day?

2017 was a big year for me. As I transitioned into the new role of being a husband, the demands on my time increased and I quickly realised that I had to prioritise the things that had access to my time and cut out the clutter. I wanted to spend my time creating memories and working at my relationships, skills and character rather than helping corporations earn an extra buck from me. On some introspection, I noticed that I could drastically increase the free time available to me by making small adjustments to my daily habits. Today I share 5 things that I implemented over the last year, which rid me of my conundrum.

Limited Resources, Unlimited Demand

1. Muting Notifications
The smallest step that made the biggest difference to my life was doing away with notifications. That means all phone notifications (yes, even Whatsapp!!!), laptop notifications, smart-watch notifications, the whole gamut! Probably adulting is responsible for this, but I don’t feel the urge to stay connected anymore. Limiting my accessibility to random time embezzlers like those sale promotions or those mantra preachers on office email tremendously helped me reduce the demands on my time and improve my focus on things on hand.

2. Moving to Firefox Focus on Mobile
How does changing browsers help in improving time management? Firefox Focus is a privacy-focused browser from Mozilla designed to block online trackers. Apart from ad-blocking, it also has this amazing feature where every time I exit the browser, all the web history is deleted and there are no open webpages (unlike Chrome). Since I cannot leave my browsing for later, it helped me reduce my overall browsing time and focus on the task at hand whenever I’m skimming the internet.

3. Removing Television from My Day-to-Day
Aah! Another time embezzler. Over the last 12 months, I have made a conscious effort towards eliminating TV from my day-to-day life. Nothing interesting ever runs on TV and I have lost patience to sit through various brands trying to rob my wallet. I do catch up with a few movies sometimes, but that’s a sporadic event.

4. Switching over to Physical Newspaper
Surprising right? Multi-tasking is overrated. Despite the efficiency of a smartphone, it comes with a lot of evils. One of which is the news websites trying to catch my attention to some advert or some promoted content. I feel going old school on news consumption was one of my best decisions. I have full control over what I read with nobody trying to grab my eyeballs, I have no interruptions and can completely focus on reading the newspaper.

5. Moving my Social Networking Presence to Goodreads
Being extremely cynical and selective about online data sharing, I have minimised my involvement with sites like Facebook. I have no presence on other social networking sites (except an infrequent tweet) and have started dedicating my social networking time to Goodreads. Staying updated with what others are reading keeps me motivated to complete my own ‘To-read’ section and I enjoy learning about new books and new stories. (More about what I am reading here.)

Special Mention: Keyboard shortcuts: The next thing that I am planning to take up is learning more keyboard shortcuts. I spend a lot of time on my office laptop and they work like magic – you can turn back the clock!

So there it is.

I am constantly looking out for more ways to balance the ever-increasing things that want access to me. Do you have any more life hacks that I can implement?

This is the Sciolist.

Signing out!!!

Show some love! If you liked my post hit the ‘Like’ button below and share it with your friends! I write poems too. Check out a popular one here! Thank You for being awesome 🙂

Frank Abagnale: Catch Me If You Can: Talks at Google

Do you remember the movie ‘Catch Me If You Can?’ starring Tom Hanks and Leonardo DiCaprio and directed by Steven Spielberg? Well, the movie was made on Frank Abagnale, who ran away from his home at 16, travelled around the world by forging cheques and being an impostor, got caught and spent 5 years in jail in France, Sweden and United States and has been an acclaimed security consultant and lecturer at the FBI for the past 41 years. Quite a CV that!

He recently spoke at Google for their Security and Privacy Month event, talking about his life, the movie and cyber-crime! Being a fan of the film, this talk made for quite an interesting watch, to have the first hand account of his life. But once he started taking questions, he made certain revelations about the future of cyber crime that were quite startling! Like for the fact that the government is working on technology that can control all electronic devices…. from pacemakers to cars; and how cyber crime may turn dark and try to control or disarm people living the ‘Internet of Things’ life. Go through his entire talk below and find out!

(If you want to skip the interview and directly head to the questions, he starts taking them at 28:05)

Source: YouTube, Talks at Google

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