An article on how a Sri Lankan stock market investor can apply a risk-averse long-term value investing approach when making an investment in the Sri Lankan stock market.

“In the short run, the market is a voting machine but in the long run, it is a weighing machine.” — Ben Graham

“Choosing individual stocks without any idea of what you’re looking for is like running through a dynamite factory with a burning match. You may live, but you’re still an idiot.” — Joel Greenblatt, The Little Book That Beats The Market

As daily turnover for the Colombo Stock market reached historically high levels earlier this year, were participants really investing? Or speculating?

In this article, I’m going to make the case for why…

A collection of my notes on hiring great people, doing big things in business and sustaining a culture of meritocratic ownership by Jorge Paulo Lemann, Marcel Herrmann Telles, and Carlos Alberto Sicupira of 3G Capital.

Carlos Alberto Sicupira, Jorge Paulo Lemann and Marcel Telles

“.. Going on to our Brazilian friends, they are very smart, very focused, they are very hardworking and determined, they are never satisfied and as I said earlier when you make a deal with them you make a deal with them. They don’t overreach, they don’t over-promise, they’ve got a lot of good qualities.” — Warren Buffett

Jorge Paulo Lemann, Marcel Herman Telles, and Alberto…

In a year like this, I reflected on the past and tried to take comfort in life's many vicissitudes. This is my journey in books for 2020.

My books in 2020

In my mind, 2020 qualifies as one of the most unprecedented, interesting, and insightful years of my life. From the reflections of the great stoic Marcus Aurelius to the 1929 stock market crash to the life and principles of Andrew Carnegie from the gilded age, these books helped me navigate the year and put life into perspective. There is no doubt in my mind that 2020 has been one of the most educational…

A letter to my partners over what has been an extraordinary year.

“Yet if we confine our attention to American investment experience, there is some comfort to be gleaned from the last 57 years. Through all their vicissitudes and casualties, as earthshaking as they were unforeseen, it remained true that sound investment principles produced generally sound results. We must act on the assumption that they will continue to do so.” — Ben Graham, 1972, The Intelligent Investor


Over the past couple of months I wrote 2 memos, Sri Lanka is for sale! I am buying and Living through history, which…

As Sri Lanka (and much of the rest of the world) completely halted its economy, I found it difficult to navigate between risk and the important but unknowable.

The choices most governments faced around the world (Source: The Economist, April 2020)

What does it mean to deploy capital during these uncertain & unprecedented times? How should I think about real risk (loss of permanent capital) versus fear (irrational over-pessimism)?

Rather than make forecasts about unprecedented events, I decided to read about the Great Crash of 1929 by John Kenneth Galbraith, re-visit Benjamin Graham and David Dodd’s ‘Security Analysis’ and re-visit the teachings and lectures of Warren Buffett and Charles Munger. …

A recollection of my notes on leadership, management, capital allocation and life lessons from the examples set forth by Tom Murphy and Dan Burke at Capital Cities.

President and Chief Executive Officer Dan Burke (left) and Chair and Chief Executive Officer Tom Murphy (right). Photo by Steve Fenn/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images

“Tom Murphy and Dan Burke were probably the greatest two-person combination in management that the world has ever seen or maybe ever will see.” — Warren Buffett

Note: This article represents my notes compiled on these two remarkable individuals. Tom Murphy and Dan Burke did not write much and kept low profiles. Most of what I have compiled is through the writings and speeches of Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger, ‘The Outsiders’ by…

A rigorous, disciplined, and realistic process Charlie Munger advocates in order to research, analyze, evaluate, and act on important decisions.

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“How can smart people so often be wrong? They don’t do what I’m telling you to do: use a checklist to be sure you get all the main models and use them together in a multimodular way”.
-Charlie Munger

Charlie Munger, Vice-chairman of Berkshire Hathaway lays out the use of checklists, both formal and informal, as indispensable tools for decision making and problem-solving.

Throughout Poor Charlie’s Almanack, Charlie recommends four basic types of checklists that necessarily overlap and reinforce each…

How I think about the Colombo Stock Exchange or Sri Lankan ‘share market’ while determining value and adequate returns when investing capital.

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This article is part of a series of posts documenting my reasoning, methodology, and logic evaluating securities. If you would like to read more about my investment philosophy, be sure to check out my post about ‘The Intelligent Investor’ here or ‘Good Businesses’ here.

In this post, I will talk about how I think about investing and risk with regards to the Colombo Stock Exchange or what is commonly referred to as the Sri Lankan ‘share market’.



Regularly referred to as one of the greatest thinkers who ever lived, Darwin’s work on science and his autobiography revealed that he wasn’t born a genius, instead, he outthought the rest of mankind by developing certain mental habits.

Photograph of Charles Robert Darwin (source:

“My success as a man of science, whatever this may have amounted to, has been determined, as far as I can judge, by complex and diversified mental qualities and conditions. Of these, the most important have been–the love of science– unbounded patience in long reflecting over any subject–industry in observing and collecting facts–and a fair share of invention as well as of…

It is March 2020, global capital markets are in free-fall and Sri Lanka’s best companies are on sale as governments try to contain COVID-19.

The New York Times website, April 1st, 2020

Sri Lanka is in a mess, last year it suffered a devastating terrorist attack that put a serious dent to earnings from tourism that had spillover effects on the rest of the local economy. Today, COVID-19, a world pandemic has almost caused an entire shutdown of the global economy.

Global and local news headlines continue to be scary, as nobody knows for certain the implications of the virus. As local governments impose shutdowns, social-distancing, and curfews…

Christiaan Quyn

Co-Founder of DataSprig, an agency based in Colombo, Sri Lanka. I read voraciously and write about investing, business and acquiring worldly wisdom.

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