John Zolidis

John Zolidis on Making Better Decisions and Recognizing Flawed Mental Models

Dr. Chris E. Stout
8 min readSep 1, 2023


Investment research created by large banks, mid-sized banks, and even smaller boutiques is frequently muddled by conflicts of interest, and its value diminished by over-distribution. Analysts often feel pressure to have positive ratings to support bankers or to generate corporate access.

And the time horizon of most research is typically very short, causing analysts to miss long-term winners due to near-term considerations. But the biggest issue is that most analysts have no proprietary information or process. Additionally, what are the mental models that can best serve not only making investment decisions, but also the various other choices we make in our lives?

John Zolidis has a lot to say about all that. As to the investment aspects, via Quo Vadis Capital, where he is President and Founder, he provides a research service that, while designed for the buy-side, is organized to solve for the sell-side’s issues. If you’re not exactly sure what that means, we’ll unpack all that and more in this conversation.

John’s work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Fortune, The New York Post,, The and others; he was named in the Wall Street Journal’s “Best on the Street” list, and is a part of value-investing conferences in Vail, Cyprus, Klosters, London, and Dubai.

Before John started his career in finance, he attended Kenyon College and later, Oxford University, where he studied philosophy and German. John currently lives and works from New York and Paris.

Please note, in this episode, we are not providing any investment instruction or recommendations. Please consult your financial advisor for investment advice that is appropriate for your personal financial situation, risk tolerance and objectives.

I have Guy Spier to thank for introducing me to John, and we discuss how John first connected with Guy. To date, I think that Guy was the longest conversation yet for the show (Putting Values into Value Investing with Guy Spier), and I have had some other great financial guests…