Learning From The Best or The Rest?

Another good interview over on Vimeo with Howard Marks... Watching this and so many other videos from experts got me thinking about how we usually approach learning. The norm is that we all go to school with some good and some bad teachers. We learn the basics and later select what to do with our lives. An increasing number of us in the US and in the World are making the decision to go get a Higher Education. What is interesting though is that those higher education instructors are usually mediocre at best. Even the great universities are not always filled with The Best instructors available.

What impact does that have? If most of the people in society that have higher education degrees are being taught by a pool of mediocre instructors, does the actual education they received give them any kind of edge or advantage in society? I didn't go to a university to learn how to work with computers and I do just fine in that department (thank you very much)... I did take a few university finance courses (ok, so I took a lot thinking I would learn something) and all I walked away with was a rudimentary understanding of CAPM... Which meant that I had to seek out how to truly value companies from other sources.

What other sources? I prefer The Best! There is a lot of great content available in the form of papers and lectures from Domadoran, Greenwald, Greenblatt, & Shiller. These aren't just random guys off the street with no strong opinions - these guys are defining how things get done. I would have loved to study Economics with Mankiw or Roberts - but alas I don't remember all the econ instructors names I had because they were definitely in "The Rest".

The same goes for building companies - would you have wanted to build a company with Eduardo Saverin or Sean Parker?

So as you watch and learn from an investment wizard Howard Marks... think about who you would want to study with/under (even today) - can you learn from them? What about your kids - who will they study under and will those people be able to influence them in such away that your kids are better off?

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  1. Pingback: Investing Lessons From Howard Marks | Josh Maher's Blog

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