Our weekly thoughts and general ramblings about everything related to business – from industries and investments to management and operations.

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Lessons From The Godfather

We think most would agree that The Godfather is one of the greatest movies ever made.  This week, we were interested to learn that at the time of production, success was far from certain.  Francis Ford Coppola himself was not the studio’s first choice to direct the film, and once in the role, he clashed constantly with studio executives.  From a Fresh Air podcast with Coppola: 

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Three Things

Our first post of the year always revisits three core concepts that continue to shape our thinking. Dare to Be Great Howard Marks of Oaktree Capital is one of the great writers on the investment process. We enjoy reading each of his very popular memos. Early in 2014, he published Dare to Be Great II which, building on the original Dare to Be Great, discussed the necessary conditions for exceptional investment performance. From the memo: "For years I’ve posed the following riddle: Suppose I hire you as a portfolio manager and we agree you will get no compensation next year

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Results

Like our children, we love all of our values equally.  However, the most uncomfortable (at times) value we uphold is our desire to Keep Score.  This is because it is possible to chase better, play the long game, and put the team first–but not produce results.  That’s a tricky situation.

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Small Business CEOs

This week, we stumbled across the work of Adam Bryant, author of The New York Times Corner Office column, in which he interviews CEOs of various companies about leadership and management.  In October, Bryant published his final column, “How to Be a C.E.O.,” which reflected upon his findings from 525 interviews over the course of almost 10 years.

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(Small Business) Market Wizards

Before we started our first “real” job, our soon-to-be boss gave us Jack Schwager’s iconic Market Wizards, which featured interviews with some of the world’s top traders across financial markets–people like Paul Tudor Jones, Bruce Kovner, Michel Steinhardt, and Ed Seykota (if you don’t know these names, they are impressive traders).  

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That C-Corp Life

We are often asked why we chose to set up Chenmark Holdings as a C-corp, rather than a more traditional investment fund.  We are not tax or legal professionals, and our experience is not necessarily applicable to others but rather a reflection of our unique path, so talk to your advisors before making any decisions.

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