Multi-disciplinary Investing

“Investment decisions are more likely to be correct when ideas from other disciplines lead to the same conclusions. That is the top most payoff – broader understanding makes us better investors… True learning and lasting success come to those who make the effort to first build a latticework of mental models and then learn to think in an associative, multi-disciplinary manner” Robert Hagstrom

"So, if your professors won't give you an appropriate multi-disciplinary approach, if each wants to overuse his models and underuse the important models in other disciplines, you can correct that folly yourself" Charlie Munger

“Our core philosophy starts with the belief that making intelligent, rational decisions requires a multi-disciplinary framework that informs broad and deep understanding” Christopher Begg

“You’ve got to learn everything. I started with physics and mathematics and I got into economics, history, law and politics. I like everything and that’s what you need. You might need models from biology.” Li Lu

“If I’ve learned anything over the past decade it is this: The art of stock picking is more about synthesizing information across disciplines and making decisions than a strict devotion to finance” Allan Mecham

“What is elementary, worldly wisdom? Well, the first rule is that you can't really know anything if you just remember isolated facts and try and bang 'em back. If the facts don't hang together on a latticework of theory, you don't have them in a usable form. You've got to have models in your head. And you've got to array your experience – both vicarious and direct – on this latticework of models.” Charlie Munger

"Some people think in words, some use numbers, and still others work with visual images.  I do all of these, but I also think using models"  Ed Thorp

“You have to be naturally interested and curious about everything – any kind of businesses, politics, science, technology, humanities, history, poetry, literature, everything really effects your business. It will help you. And then occasionally you will find a few insights out of those studies that will give you tremendous opportunities that other people couldn’t think of” Li Lu

“You’ve got to mesh many different disciplines into one. That’s our edge” Marc Lasry

“When .. we have enticed the college graduate into our graduate schools, we at once encourage him to grow professional blinders which will confine his vision to the narrow research track, and we endeavour – often successfully – to make out of him a truffle-hound, or if you prefer, a race-horse, finely trained for a single small purpose and not much good for any other” Jacob Viner 1950 …. Viner argued that academic departments needed to encourage their students in broader intellectual fields since solving real world problems was likely to involve skills learned in several different disciplines. Charlie Munger, long-time Vice Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, has encouraged a similarly multi-disciplinary approach to investment, a proposal which Marathon has consistently echoed” Marathon Asset management

“For some odd reason, I had an early and extreme multi-disciplinary cast of mind. I couldn’t stand reaching for a small idea in my own discipline when there was a big idea right over the fence in somebody else’s discipline. So I just grabbed in all directions for the big ideas that would really work. Nobody taught me to do that; I was just born with that yen.” Charlie Munger

“You have to realize the truth of biologist Julian Huxley’s idea that ‘Life is just one damn relatedness after another’ So you must have the models, and you must see the relatedness and the effects from the relatedness.” Charlie Munger

“I have been in the business since 1973, so I have been looking at companies for a long time.  There are a lot of things in my head. There are a number of different models of the kinds of business or situations that can work. It may be the local monopoly concept, the low-cost commodity producer concept, the consolidated industry that has come down to a few competitors, a basic essential service that isn’t going to stop growing, or an industry that may be growing too slowly to attract any competition. So, there are a lot of different models.” Glenn Greenberg

“It’s kind of fun to sit there and out think people who are way smarter than you are because you’ve trained yourself to be more objective and more multi-disciplinary. Furthermore, there is a lot of money in it, as I can testify from my own personal experience.” Charlie Munger

"If you have the patience and if you have the interest to really dig deep, then what you're going to find is if it's commonly held information or known information, you may come up with insights that others have not.  This is what Charlie Munger talks about the latticework of mental models.  You look at things through a different lens to try to see what can be different"  Mohnish Pabrai

"Professor Newcomb taught [me] not only political economy, but philosophy, logic ethics, and psychology - all in one course.  Today these subjects would be fragmented among several professors.  I believe there was considerable advantages in being taught all these subjects by the same man.  Too many educators seem to have forgotten that you cannot teach good economics, good politics, good ethics, or good logic unless they are considered together as parts of one whole.  Colleges as a rule teach economics badly.  With over-specialisation has also come a tendency to mistake information for education, to turn out "quiz experts" who are crammed full of useful detail but who have not been trained how to think"  Bernard Baruch

"It's a multi- disciplinary habit that fosters some creative thinking. Throughout the week between conversations about business- specific objectives we will tend to revisit further questions and insights somebody has read on the subject. Subjects are typically in the large data sets of physics, biology, and human history." Christopher Begg

"There's no rule that you can't add another model or two even fairly late in life.  In fact, Ive clearly done that.  I got most of the big ones quite early [however]" Charlie Munger