Value Investor Peter Cundill - Routines and Orgies by Christopher Risso-Gill

PETE'S TIPS FOR A GOOD LIFE

Sleep a lot.

 

Read even more.

 

Drink alcohol two days a week; once in a while to excess.

 

Cigarettes are bad. Cigars after a meal are good.

 

Be curious. Never stop learning.

 

Once a year run a marathon.  Once a year do something that scares the shit out of you: a bungie jump, the Cresta run, white water rafting.

 

Laugh a lot but be reflective.

 

Strive for balance through contradictions.

 

Be a warrior. Be a priest. Be a monk. Be a hedonist.

 

Reason and passion go together but not reason before passion.

 

Rotate between day-dreaming and acute awareness. Do reality checks and focus on detail.

 

Think positive thoughts even when you’re lying to yourself.  The brain doesn’t know the difference.

 

Seek balance through harmonizing the different aspects of life: physical, spiritual, emotional, sexual.

 

Be passionate but avoid zealotry.

 

Be politically correct.  Be a Bubba.  Use Bill Clinton as a role model. Wear sackcloth and enjoy pain.  Lead an opulent lifestyle.

 

Own a house.  Enjoy hotel rooms.

 

Travel to extremes.  Consider each resting place a sanctuary and a home.

 

Strive for high levels of awareness.  Enjoy brainless moments.

 

Be responsible but remember that the ultimate freedom is the utter absence of obligation.

 

Be highly principled, but be flexible and above all fair.

 

Be optimistic, or be pessimistic but above all be realistic.

 

Seek order, confront chaos, retreat from the maelstrom.

 

Be open, but you can keep a few dark secrets.

 

Be a historian, be a prophet.

 

Be deductive. Be inductive.

 

The stock market is almost always wrong; once in a while it is right.

 

God is infinity.  Don’t question any further. This is an absolute truth.

 

Don’t own a car.  Ride a bike.  Use the subway. Hire limos.

 

Remember that in life one is both a participant and an observer.

 

Study systems and financial statements.  Remember though that the beauty of numbers can delude.  Be intuitive, warm and fuzzy in your analysis.

 

Understanding relationships is as important in investment matters as financial analysis.

 

Be humble but believe in yourself.

The physical world is illusion but deal with it as if it were real. At every moment in all societies contradictions are developing and these inevitably lead to discontinuities.  In his book ‘Beyond the Mexique Bay’, Aldous Huxley wrote, ‘Life is a series of routines punctuated by orgies’.  It is and it should be and neither Huxley nor I mean it in the purely conventional sense.

The Roman stoic philosopher Seneca said a lot of useful things here are a few:  ‘Happiness is balance; to teach is also to learn; knowing is better than remembering; we are born unequal, we die equal; to govern is to serve not to rule.’

 

Exercise between half an hour and two hours every day. Do more on Saturdays. Take one day off every two months.  Keep your body fat at less than 10%.

 

Don’t be afraid of eating junk food but eat lots of fruit as well. If you choose to eat fat free yoghurt, make sure you complement this with plenty of hot-dogs, hamburgers and French fries.