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#160 Peter Cundill
December 28th, 2020 | E160

What I learned from reading Routines and Orgies: The Life of Peter Cundill, Financial Genius, Philosopher, and Philanthropist by Christopher Risso-Gill.


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Excellence as a goal in itself had been drummed into him from early boyhood.

I’m convinced that to achieve real greatness a person needs above all to have passion but at the same time immense discipline, concentration, patience and an unshakeable determination to become a master of his craft.

There is a choice of courses in life: either to seek equilibrium or to enjoy the heights and suffer the depths.

You need to get into some situations which make your gut tight and your balls tingle.

Do the unappealing things first.

Once you have done your homework properly and are absolutely convinced that an investment is right you should not hesitate or wait for others to share the adventure. The price at which you start buying will almost invariably be imperfect but that should never discourage you.

Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act but a habit. (Aristotle)

The more that I think about the way the Greeks, especially the Spartans, regarded the subject of exercise and the necessity of maintaining peak levels of physical fitness, the more I am convinced that the health of the mind and the spirit are either bolstered or hampered by the condition of the body.

Concentrate with absolute clarity on one thing at a time.

The mantra is patience, patience, and more patience. Think long term and remember that the big rewards accrue with compound annual rates of return.


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