The Knowledge Project

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#189 Chris Davis: Three Generations of Wealth

Most families who obtain immense wealth squander it by the third generation. But Chris Davis comes from a family whose grandfather and father all became independently wealthy of each other, and Davis has done the same. How does that keep happening? In this conversation, we find out.

Shane and Chris discuss life and investment lessons he learned from his father and grandfather, why writing is more important to clarify one's thinking no matter who's reading it, and the surprising benefit of reading physical newspapers and wearing ties to work. Davis also shares his value-investing philosophy, what he learned from working with and meeting Charlie Munger, and what parents can do to raise kids who aren't entitled. Davis talks about his alcohol drink tracker and why it's important to him, why he never puts himself in situations where envy can grow, and Warren Buffett's letter about why investment managers underperform.

Chris Davis has been a Director of The Coca-Cola Company since April 2018. Davis is Chairman of Davis Selected Advisers-NY, Inc., an independent investment management firm founded in 1969. Davis joined Davis Selected Advisers-NY, Inc. in 1989 as a financial analyst and in 1995, he became a portfolio manager of the firm’s flagship funds. Prior to joining Davis Selected Advisers-NY, Inc., he served as a research analyst at Tanaka Capital Management and as an accountant at State Street Bank and Trust Co.

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(00:00) Intro

(03:20) Life lessons Davis learned from his grandfather and father

(26:24) The importance of writing things no one reads

(36:55) Davis' experiences through financial crises

(52:31) Why Davis loves managing a mutual fund

(55:49) Why Berkshire Hathaway operates with margin

(01:01:05) What is risk?

(01:04:02) On low interest rates and their future impact

(01:14:46) The mismatched timelines between CEOs, companies, investors, and policy

(01:22:19) How Davis and Munger met

(01:30:20) Lessons learned from Munger

(01:41:29) Why avoiding weaknesses is the ultimate recipe for success

(01:55:46) How to raise non-entitled kids and avoid lifestyle creep

(01:16:10) On happiness

(02:27:00) Good vs. bad board meetings

(02:31:34) Three generations of wealth

(02:37:15) On success

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Description by The Knowledge Project
Master the best of what other people have already figured out so you can use their lessons in your life to create an unstoppable advantage.Shane Parrish is an entrepreneur and sought-after speaker. His newsletter ( offers timeless insights you can use to change your life.In The Knowledge Project, Shane interviews people at the top of their game. Every episode is packed with hard-earned lessons that you can use in your life. Tune in to create an unstoppable advantage.Sit down and learn from the best. Previous guests include Reid Hoffman, Esther Perel, Daniel Kahneman, Tobi Lutke, Marshall Goldsmith, Kunal Shah, Ander Huberman, David Sinclair, Ret. General Stanley McChrystal, Marc Andreessen, Patrick Collison, Robert Cialdini, Walter Isaacson, Chris Bosh, Kat Cole, Adam Grant, Angela Duckworth, Seth Godin, Matt Mullenweg, Lisa Feldman Barrett, Maria Konnikova, Bill Ackman, Annie Duke, Derek Sivers, Jim Collins, Naval Ravikant, and many others. They reveal hard-earned lessons on leadership, decision-making, hiring and firing, productivity, habits, and more.New episodes are released every second Tuesday.Learn more at
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