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Circle of Competence Issue #108


"Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt."

- attributed to ABRAHAM LINCOLN


Personal Update

On April 25th at 4:00 AM, we welcomed Merin Kate Moss into the world, and boy is she a bundle of joy. For the next couple of weeks, I'll be MIA, but if you have any advice for first time parents, we're all ears.

Modesty of a Mind

"For he was not one of those talkative people--from whom I had endured so much--who undertook to teach me what I wanted to know, and then said nothing... For this I liked him all the more. For the modesty of an ingenious mind is a finer thing than the acquisition of that knowledge I desired;" - St. Augustine, Confessions

This weekend, as most people know, is Berkshire Hathaway's annual meeting. For years, he's weighed in on business, the economy, and life from his vantage point as Chairman. Despite his breadth of knowledge, his intellectual humility is, to me, one of his best qualities.

Simply put, the ability to admit 'I don't know' is an uncommon one in our world today.

As one of the most successful investors of all time, you'd think many people would copy his approach and admit when something belongs in 'the too-hard pile'. But in everyday experience, we tend to see the opposite occur. People have a penchant for making the simple seem complex, as well as taking a little knowledge, and pretending to be an expert (The Dunning-Kruger Effect).