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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: Multiplying By Zero

Mental Model: Multiplying By Zero

Basic Definition If you multiply effort in any area by zero, then the effort is completely wasted. Explanation of the Concept We know that five times zero is zero.  We know that 584,235 times zero is also still zero.  We’re taught this in school as simply “a rule”...

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Ventas (VTR)

Ventas (VTR)

Ventas' Seniors Housing Sunrise of Lincoln Park, Chicago, IL .  Image Source: Ventas Ventas is a healthcare Real Estate Investment Trust that operates primarily in the United States.  They are one of the largest providers of senior housing, and also other...

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Digital Realty (DRT)

Digital Realty (DRT)

One of Digital Realty's data centers.  Image Source: Digital Realty Digital Realty buys and operates buildings that house data centers.  Data centers are physical locations where computer systems are stored.  Companies pay DRT to store, protect, and route their data....

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Federal Realty (FRT)

Federal Realty (FRT)

The Santana Row property in San Jose, CA.  Image Source: SanJose.orgThe History of Federal Realty   Started by Samuel Gorlitz.  In the 1950s Gorlitz was an economist who studied at the University of Chicago and later worked for the State Department.  On the side...

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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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