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Alex Mason

Hi, I'm Alex and I'm an individual investor and podcaster who's curious about the world, especially when it comes to long term investing in the stock market. I'm always looking for better ways to analyze businesses and add more mental models to my brain's tool belt.

My Latest Thoughts On

Long Term Investing

An Investing Epiphany

An Investing Epiphany

I was in college when the Great Recession was happening.  There was economic turmoil, and it was inescapable.  Though we certainly were not in a depression, as a country, things were still really bad.  People lost their jobs, their homes, and investments.  I remember...

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A Story Begins

A Story Begins

It all started with the Half Price Bookstore.  I was home from college and had decided to go into the bookstore with my sister and browse around for a while.  Then, the thought struck me, “I’m about to graduate and enter the real world - I don’t know anything about...

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Mental Model: Bottlenecks

Mental Model: Bottlenecks

Basic Definition Bottlenecks are parts of a process where the result of the overall system is entirely dependent on it.  It is the limiting factor. Explanation of the Concept This is also known as the Law of the Minimum, or Liebig’s law of the minimum.  German...

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Mental Model: Fight or Flight

Mental Model: Fight or Flight

Basic Definition Fight or Flight is a biological response to a threat.  Either your natural instinct is to fight the threat and attack it, or your natural instinct is to run away. Explanation of the Concept Coined by Walter Bradford Cannon of Harvard Medical School in...

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Mental Model: Opportunity Cost

Mental Model: Opportunity Cost

Basic Definition   This is probably the most important mental model that I have come across and apply in my life, and it permeates almost every thought, decision, and action that I have. To put it simply, if you spend energy, time, money, or other resources doing...

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Mental Model: Seizing the Middle

Mental Model: Seizing the Middle

Basic Definition By aligning yourself in a certain domain with favorable characteristics, you are more likely to have greater flexibility and reap more rewards.   Explanation of the Concept Practically, what does this mean though?  The example that Shane Parrish...

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Virgin Galactic (SPCE)

Virgin Galactic (SPCE)

Virgin Galactic's proposed supersonic jet.  Image Source: Fox BusinessThe History of Virgin Galactic Founded in 2004 by British billionaire Sir Richard Branson.  Branson has extensive experience in the business world, having founded the Virgin Group, a conglomerate of...

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Marriott Vacations Worldwide (VAC)

Marriott Vacations Worldwide (VAC)

Marriott's Desert Spring Villas II in Palm Desert, CA.  Image Source: TripAdvisor History   Check out Episode 135 to first hear about Marriott International (MAR) if you haven’t already Marriott Vacations Worldwide is a “vacation club” or timeshare company, and...

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Marriott International (MAR)

Marriott International (MAR)

The J.W. Marriott in Los Cabos, Mexico.  Image Source: MarriottMarriott Began With A Root Beer Stand   Founded by John Willard Marriott in 1927.  Him, his wife Alice, and a partner started a root beer stand in 1927.  He had noticed that people walking around in...

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Host Hotels and Resorts (HST)

Host Hotels and Resorts (HST)

The Don Cesar in St. Pete, FL.  Image Source: Host Hotels and ResortsThe History of Host Hotels and Resorts Began With Railroads The company’s origins start with the Van Noy brothers in Kansas City, Missouri in the late 1800s.  In 1897 Ira Clinton Van Noy, Charles S.,...

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