I used to be utterly amazed at Warren Buffett’s keen stock picking abilities. I remain in awe, but I am starting to develop a theory on just how he is so good. Stories often mention an hour or 2–and many times much less–meeting with the Oracle and the head honcho of company X, and when the meeting is over, Buffett’s made a deal to either buy the company outright, or buy a major stake in it.

He tells us himself, that he looks for companies that don’t sell commodities (read: no Budweiser, no airlines, no soy beans), and companies that have or can build sustainable competitive advantage. And we know that before the meeting, Buffett’s analyzed the company’s market, market share, and future opportunities.

The key thing that amazed me, was how after 30 to 100 minutes, Warren has seen enough to make multi-million or even billion dollar decisions.

Well after working for 3 multi-billion dollar corporations, and a few small businesses thrown in, and working with a plethora of idiots at every level, I think I know how he does it:

  1. Research industry
  2. If industry has long term prospects and company has good existing or future market potential, then
  3. Meet with CEO/Owner
  4. If it becomes clear in the meeting that CEO/owner is neither an idiot nor a moron, then
  5. Make a deal

Okay, he probably sets the bar just a bit higher than we say in step 4, but you get the idea!


Here are some of my favorite websites:

Daily Dose Catch all the major headlines of the day-with a twist.  Users submit their own funnier headlines (with a link to the real news article).

If you’re ever bored, and thought you surfed the whole internet, there are discussion forums for each story as well.  Be sure to check out the Photoshop contests for a ton of laughs.

Paul Krugman’s Blog Paul Krugman has a Nobel Prize in Economics, and a knack for explaining complicated economic concepts in simple, every day words.  His blog contains a delicious mix of economics, politics, and other musings.  Krugman repeatedly warned of the housing bubble bursting throughout the 2 to 3 years that led up to it.  He also correctly called that the Bush Administration had made up its mind to go to Iraq, and was propagating the war with falsehoods to manipulate public opinion.

Drudge Report You can always catch the latest headlines on Drudge, but expect the headlines to be politically slanted to the right.  Drudge also links to many of the major columnists and bloggers. If you like science, natural history, or watching the Discovery channel, then this is the site for you.  Leading evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins has an endless supply of food for the mind, and the cure for insatiable curiosity.  If your mind is wandering, as mine often does, then just stick to Dawkins’ 2 minute nature video lessons. One of Baseball Prospectus statistician Nate Silver’s first claims to fame was predicting that the 2008 Tampa Bay Rays, who in 2007 finished in last place at 30 games under .500, would win 22 more games in 2008 with 88 total wins.  The Rays actually won 97 games in the regular season in 2008, and while sports bettors who had bet on Silver’s massive Rays’ improvement prediction laughed all the way to the bank, the rest of the sports world took notice.

Around 2007, Silver turned his statistical mastery to political polling.  Nate assigned a weight to political polls as they came out based on (1) the statistical soundness of individual poll’s random sampling and (2) past reliability of individual polls to predict actual results.

He then aggregated the results, and Nate’s final predictions were astoundingly prescient, as they correctly predicted which candidate would carry an amazing 49 out of 50 states.

Most of the posts on Five Thirty Eight are at least somewhat related to politics, but if a subject strikes Nate as interesting, he will often research the data, apply some statistical analysis, and write a really great article.  I really enjoyed Do Americans Really Hate Flying?  Or Really Love Driving?

Incidentally, before he became famous, Nate was a long-term winning poker player and valuable poster on Two Plus Two.

Weekly Visits

Max Blumenthal Great reporting that rarely makes the mainstream.  Make sure to check out his videos!

Daily Kos A very informative liberal blog

Huffington Post A news and blog site from a liberal slant, but they also dabble in entertainment news, etc.

Two Plus Two THE poker strategy site.  2+2 features a monthly magazine with 10 or so strategy articles, but if you’re trying to improve your poker game, the forums are the pure gold.  Post hands that you played, and get the forum’s responses and suggestions.  Like any site, there are a few trolls who post only useless drivel, but stop by, and stay a while, and you’ll quickly be able to distinguish valuable advice from the drivel.

If you like poker, are disciplined, and do not have any huge emotional problems, this site will make you money.

Gold Star Games Great site for any sports fan or gift buyer of a fan.  Gold Star has college and NFL licensed gear, and a few things you might not have thought of such as an Indiana University Cornhole (bean bag toss) game or a fold up, portable Indianapolis Colts Beer Pong table.

Gold Star also features everything you need for your game room from arcade style video games and pool tables, to pinball games and decor.  If you like air hockey tables or foosball, check out their child sites and

Well, I will probably add to this list later at some point, but that’s it for now.  Happy surfing!