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Chris DeMuth Jr.
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Chris DeMuth Jr. is the founder of Rangeley Capital LLC. Rangeley is an investment firm that focuses on event driven, value-oriented investment opportunities. Rangeley Capital and his value investing forum, Sifting the World (StW), search the world for misplaced bets. Rangeley exploits them for... More
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  • Labor And Lucidity 17 comments
    Aug 5, 2013 3:41 PM

    Maine is a perfect place to think and to invest. There are few distractions. The only sound is water and wind. The only people are people who I want around; it is not the place where uninvited guests would wander into. The office set up is exactly like the office in Connecticut. But for me, the biggest advantage is the work.

    (I am 100% pro-child labor)

    There are a lot of trees. I have been busy limbing, felling, hauling, and splitting wood. While getting some strenuous work done probably helps clear the mind for any profession, I find that it is particularly important to investing. Fresh air and hard work tires out muscles and gets oxygen to the brain. It is also easy enough mentally that you can work out difficult investing problems at the same time. But more than that, it offers up a break that can keep thoughts intact while giving a time out from watching markets and making trades, both of which are frequently dubious activities.

    It is also nice to have some activities with a direct payoff for hard work. The markets offer every combination of success and failure regardless of effort. But, with exercise, there is a much more direct payoff for effort, time, and a high pain threshold. In terms of high payoff, my favorite new activity is Spartan Races:

    My friend Joe Desena started the company and inspired me to start competing. We just completed a course at our home in Connecticut and have been training when I'm working down there. The wife vetoed any obstacles with: mud, fire, or barbed wire, but accepted basically everything else that I wanted to put up. In fact, the course was nominally an anniversary present to her to help her prepare for a Spartan race next year.

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Comments (17)
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  • SoCalNative+(RIP)
    , contributor
    Comments (651) | Send Message
    Looks like a nice life out there in Maine.
    5 Aug 2013, 04:10 PM Reply Like
  • Chris DeMuth Jr.
    , contributor
    Comments (11812) | Send Message
    Author’s reply » Most of the time!
    5 Aug 2013, 04:12 PM Reply Like
  • HFI
    , contributor
    Comments (1856) | Send Message
    Do you play golf alongside tennis and compete in the spartan race?
    5 Aug 2013, 08:58 PM Reply Like
  • Chris DeMuth Jr.
    , contributor
    Comments (11812) | Send Message
    Author’s reply » I have never really cared a lot about golf. Most of my colleagues play and my wife and I have taken classes at Pinehurst, but it never really took.
    5 Aug 2013, 09:05 PM Reply Like
  • SA Editor Samir Patel
    , contributor
    Comments (163) | Send Message
    Chris, have you ever heard of Tough Mudder? Similar concept. A good friend of mine is really into them.
    5 Aug 2013, 09:19 PM Reply Like
  • Chris DeMuth Jr.
    , contributor
    Comments (11812) | Send Message
    Author’s reply » Yes, they are a comparable company and competitor with Spartan Races. For personal reasons and preference, my loyalty lies with Spartan Races, but Tough Mudders are probably pretty similar.
    6 Aug 2013, 07:19 AM Reply Like
  • Afanti Arbitrage
    , contributor
    Comments (47) | Send Message
    What Teddy Roosevelt said can be applied to competitors in the markets as well as those in sports:
    "It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat. "
    5 Aug 2013, 10:34 PM Reply Like
  • Chris DeMuth Jr.
    , contributor
    Comments (11812) | Send Message
    Author’s reply » Love it.
    6 Aug 2013, 07:20 AM Reply Like
  • Perkins Cove
    , contributor
    Comments (640) | Send Message
    My family and I lived with Teddy's daughter, Mrs Ethel Roosevelt Derby on Long Island, NY, near Teddy's home at Sagamore Hill.


    His brand of physicality, and rightness, and integrity is sorely missed in this world we have now. However, I think he would be a rebel today...a soul out of touch. He would go to the mountains....and not take a smartphone.


    Such was life back then. Would we could get some of it back. At least the part where integrity was more important than mammon.


    Sorry for the soliloquy....but any mention of Teddy gets my heart pumping faster.


    Cheers guys...beautiful photo of your child Chris...and good luck once more in the Spartan Race tomorrow.


    We expect a full report. (this totally busts that whole "stiff" thing....grin)


    20 Sep 2013, 03:26 PM Reply Like
  • arbtrader
    , contributor
    Comments (585) | Send Message
    2 observations: Julian Robertson made a habit of hiring (almost exclusively) ex-athletes on the theory that they know how to compete, no matter the odds.


    On a more serious theme: It's SHARK WEEK, man! where is your 007-sized pit full of sharks with laser beams to hurdle over?
    6 Aug 2013, 11:45 AM Reply Like
  • Chris DeMuth Jr.
    , contributor
    Comments (11812) | Send Message
    Author’s reply » I support Children’s Scholarship Fund-Charlotte (CSF-C) which was founded by Mr. Robertson to expand educational options for children from low-income families in Charlotte, North Carolina. At an event for CSF-C, I asked him, “you are a great investor, but your best investment has been the people you’ve found. How do you hire?” He said (approximately, according to my memory), “I hire athletes because they love to win and hate to lose. Also, I hire people who care about their fellow man, but not just care but also plan to do something about it. I respect athletes and philanthropists and also find that competitive, effective people of this sort are the best material with which to make great investors.”
    6 Aug 2013, 01:37 PM Reply Like
  • byslkwd
    , contributor
    Comments (114) | Send Message
    Awesome pic of your kid- precious! BTW, how do you pronounce Rangeley- is it Ranj-aly or a rang-ily , or perhaps Range-ly?
    7 Aug 2013, 10:54 AM Reply Like
  • Chris DeMuth Jr.
    , contributor
    Comments (11812) | Send Message
    Author’s reply » Thank you. First syllable: "Range" as in mountain range. So it is pronounced as if mountain range were an adverb. Range-ly.
    7 Aug 2013, 10:58 AM Reply Like
  • Chris DeMuth Jr.
    , contributor
    Comments (11812) | Send Message
    Author’s reply » Coupon code for 25% off one of my favorite splitters, Vipukirves Leveraxe ( SPRING15.
    13 Mar 2015, 08:46 AM Reply Like
  • bazooooka
    , contributor
    Comments (3688) | Send Message


    Are you doing another Spartan race this year. Did you add to your home course?
    13 Mar 2015, 03:38 PM Reply Like
  • Chris DeMuth Jr.
    , contributor
    Comments (11812) | Send Message
    Author’s reply » I plan to race one in VT, one in CT, and one in NY. The home course is currently under snow, but is complete. I hope to be out on it in a few weeks.
    13 Mar 2015, 03:47 PM Reply Like
  • bazooooka
    , contributor
    Comments (3688) | Send Message
    You might enjoy this article.

    10 Apr 2015, 04:01 AM Reply Like
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