About the Guest
Eric Markowitz is the Director of Research at Worm Capital. Worm runs a concentrated long-only strategy and invests in technological disruption. They call themselves "value investors focused on the future” and are drawn toward messy, complicated sectors of the market that are difficult to understand—and even more difficult to accurately price.
Before joining Worm Capital, Eric worked as an award-winning investigative business journalist and wrote from Inc., The New Yorker, and Newsweek. As the Director of Research, Eric leads all of Worm’s research efforts including mapping out new industries, understanding new technologies, and breaking down investment targets to understand the inputs and outputs that drive their business.
- (00:00:00) - Introduction
- (00:01:56) – Eric’s Path from Journalist to Director of Research
- (00:07:57) – Why Investing is About Making Good Calculated Bets
- (00:09:47) – Worm’s Two-Step Research Process
- (00:13:21) – The Importance of Slowing Down the Research Process
- (00:15:36) – Guardrails and Keeping Bad Information Out of the Research Process
- (00:19:48) – Worm’s Behavioral Advantages in Investing
- (00:23:44) – Eric’s Recent Obsessions: The Future of Robotics
- (00:26:54) – Eric Markowitz’s Favorite Books
Eric Markowitz shares his journey from being an award-winning journalist to the Director of Research at Worm Capital—leading all of the research that informs Worm’s concentrated, long-only, technological disruption investment focus. Eric shares why investing is all about making good calculated bets, the important of slowing down the research process, how he avoids making behavioral mistakes, and so much more.
“I think the lesson learned is there’s so much value to patience in this business. That just slowing down not only the research process, but the actual allocation and trading process, is immensely valuable. Some of the greatest investors just do nothing, right? That is such a hard thing to conceptualize—especially in a culture that values action and values doing things. Most of the time, really the best answer is to do nothing.” — Eric Markowitz
Eric Markowitz's Favorite Books
Eric shared his all-time favorite books including:
101 Years on Wall Street: An Investor's Almanac by Norton Juster
- 101 Years on Wall street provides a complete stock market chronology of the past 100 years. It traces the Dow Jones advance from 28 to 2,800 and includes commentary on historic market forces. Patterns continually repeat themselves on Wall Street, and this book offers investors summaries, comparisons and yearly retrospects of long trends such as bull and bear markets, shorter sequences such as panics, and includes a seasonal almanac of monthly trends like September dangers and a political almanac of election-market sequences. Eric Markowitz keeps 101 Years on Wall Street on his desk as a reminder that the market is just a series of cycles and everything passes.
- Buy it now: Print
The Alchemy of Finance by George Soros
- Dubbed by BusinessWeek as “the man who moves markets,” Soros made a fortune competing with the British pound and remains active today in the global financial community. Now in The Alchemy of Finance, Soros presents a theoretical and practical account of current financial trends and a new paradigm by which to understand the financial market today. It details Soros’s innovative investment practices along with his views of the world and world order. It also describes a new paradigm for the “theory of reflexivity” which underlies his unique investment strategies. Eric Markowitz loves George Soros in part because he loves people who started in one direction (in George Soros case as a failed philosopher), but end up going in a very different direction.
- Buy it now: Print | eBook | Audiobook
Up in the Old Hotel by Joseph Mitchell
- Saloon-keepers and street preachers, gypsies and steel-walking Mohawks, a bearded lady and a 93-year-old “seafoodetarian” who believes his specialized diet will keep him alive for another two decades. These are among the people that Joseph Mitchell immortalized in his reportage for The New Yorker and in four books—McSorley's Wonderful Saloon, Old Mr. Flood, The Bottom of the Harbor, and Joe Gould's Secret—that are still renowned for their precise, respectful observation, their graveyard humor, and their offhand perfection of style. These masterpieces (along with several previously uncollected stories) are available in Up in the Old Hotel, which presents an indelible collective portrait of an unsuspected New York and its odder citizens—as depicted by one of the great writers of this or any other time. Eric Markowitz loves Up in the Old Hotel because of its fascinating insights into what makes people tick, their desires, and how little those we've all really changed over time.
- Buy it now: Print | eBook | Audiobook
If you enjoyed this episode with Eric Markowitz, don’t miss our other interviews with the world’s best investment minds:
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- #57 NfX: A Masterclass on Network Effects and Investing in Network Effect Businesses | Outlier Investors
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For more, explore the transcript of this episode.