Mad Minute: Anabatic Principle and Portfolio Manager Philip Ordway

“Every setback in life is an opportunity to behave well.” — Charlie Munger

I recently had the pleasure to sit down with Anabatic Fund, L.P. Principle and Portfolio Manager Philip Ordway for a Mad Minute. We discussed routines and how Philip structures his business day. Philip says tackle the important/hard stuff first. He says this has been really effective for him. No matter what goes wrong the rest of the day, at least he’s got a few things he’s accomplished, and these ‘little successes’ tend to build on themselves.

When it comes to habits, Philip says he’s always been fascinated by psychology and how the human mind processes information dealing with uncertainty; which is a huge part of what everyone does as an investor. He says we have natural or ingrained habits we’ve developed over the years. He tries to consciously think through those habits, work out the good ones and reinforce them. Philip notes Daniel Kahneman describes the human mind as a ‘jump to conclusion machine’, so every day Philip consciously tries to train himself out of the bad habit of jumping to the first, most obvious conclusion that comes to mind. He’ll pause, stop, reset and go on to the next step and figure out what else might be going on in a particular situation. Philip calls this thinking ‘two-track” analysis.

Philip says it’s enormously helpful to be aware of the 10 to 20 core psychological bias which can derail your thought processes. There are a lot of ways to trip yourself up and lead yourself down a path you never intended. He notes he’s fascinated with the concept of ‘buyer’s remorse’ where really, really intelligent people know what they’re doing and wake up a day, a week, or a year later and just wonder ‘What was I thinking?’ Philip tries to avoid those sorts of mistakes. You can learn more about Philip on his website and listen to our conversation below: