The Number One Reason

Yeah, what is it?

What’s the number one reason why we fail in a long-term investment?

I’ve made this mistake, and true, those investments didn’t work out well for me.

However, I’ve stopped making this mistake.

That’s right. I don’t buy without margin of safety anymore.

Even a growth stock will eventually offer you some kind of margin of safety.

Wait for it to.

So, why doesn’t an investment work out that hasn’t been bought with margin of safety?

Mathematics…

…and psychology.

Lesser the margin of safety, the more difficult it is to make a multiple. Just do the math.

Then, investor-psychology is such, that investments bought without margin of safety don’t allow the investor to sit.

They disturb the investor when they go against him or her.

The more an investment goes against an investor, the more he or she jumps.

In the end, too much jumping leads to an erratic decision.

In the worst case scenario, one bails out of a sound investment at the lowest point of the market.

How does one avoid something like this?

Learn to sit.

Create circumstances around yourself that allow you to sit.

Buy with margin of safety.

An investment bought with ample margin of safety allows you to sit even when the investment is down.

Because you’re holding sound investments, …

… sitting makes you win in the long-term.

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Have the Guts?

Somebody did say …

… that Equity was not for the faint-hearted.

Oh, how true!

Everyday, my heart stands tested!

However, because of a small entry quantum strategy, I am able to stay in the game.

If I am able to stay in the game for multiple cycles, I will prosper.

Why?

Firstly, the strategy by default renders me liquid, such are its tenets.

Then, a good hard look at fundamentals is always called for.

To close, it is important is to enter with technicals to support you.

Now let’s say I make a mistake.

What is a mistake?

Ya, good question – in the markets, what is a mistake?

In the markets, when the price goes against you, you have made a mistake.

So let’s say that I’ve made a mistake.

Is the mistake big?

No.

Why?

Because of my small entry quantum.

What does it mean for my next entry?

Added margin of safety.

Is that good?

You bet.

Why?

Because fundamentals are intact.

What’s going to eventually happen?

Stock’s going to bottom out.

I’ll have a decent amount of entries to my name.

My buying average will be reasonably low.

The margin of safety my buying average allows me will let me sit on the stock forever, If I wish to.

Down, the road, one day, I might be sitting on a big fat multiple.

Please do the math.

Happy and lucrative investing!

🙂

What’s that other fellow doing?

The human being is nosy.

Maybe curious is a better word.

Problem is, this one characteristic is enough to make one fail in the market.

Curiousity is a good thing. At the right time and in the right area, yes.

Curiousity is a bad thing at the wrong time and in the wrong area.

However, that’s how we are wired. We like to know what that other fellow is doing, the one who is successful. We want to do the same thing. We want to ape the success. Whether we know anything about that other fellow’s field or not becomes secondary.

That’s when the walls begin to crumble.

Know your field.

Develop it.

Be curious in your field.

Succeed in your field.

If you don’t, after trying repeatedly, change your field.

Find a field that you’re successful in.

If one successful field doesn’t fulfill you, develop a second field.

However, just because your best friend hit the jackpot in his field, don’t move over to his field and expect to hit the jackpot too.

Unfortunately, we show that kind of behaviour again, and again and again.

That’s human nature.

A prime example comes from the stock market.

At the end of a boom, the last ones holding the hot potatoes (stocks that have gone up too much) are the “pigs” (retail traders and investors who buy at exorbitant prices after getting lured in by the successes of the earlier parts of the boom), who then get slaughtered. This is common stock-market jargon, by the way. It has gotten so streamlined, because it has happened again, and again and again.

If you’re doing stocks, do stocks properly. Make stocks your life’s mission. Or, don’t do stocks. Period. There’s no in-between to being successful. Success in stocks, like success in any other field, demands your full attention. Don’t do stocks just because the other fellow made a killing in stocks.

Memory is weak.

Give the bust a few years, and a whole new set of pigs launch themselves at the fag end of the next boom.

Right.

Slaughter.

You’re not a pig.

Know your field. Stick to it. Succeed in it. Period.

Chancing

How does one discover the missing ingredient?

By chancing it. 

One keeps trying different mixes…

…till something hits. 

The hit is then fine-tuned…

…such that it is reproduced again and again.

Once the hit can be reproduced at will, one has got the strategy all together. 

A successful strategy is then let loose. 

At first it is on manual.

Ultimately, it comes on auto, or semi-auto, whatever best is possible. 

There has come and passed a stage, when this same strategy has not been winning. 

Aha. 

What is the difference between the mix of that stage and the current – winning – mix?

It’s some kind of a twist you’ve discovered. 

Something you are adding, or doing differently. 

This something is making the strategy win. 

Congratulations!

You’ve kept trying. 

You’ve been in the field. 

You weren’t away from the field, ruminating. 

You were getting action. 

Losing action, but action. 

Losing action has huge educational value. 

It tells you how not to do it. 

You keep twisting, fitting, tuning, upon loss. 

You chance new stuff.

Eventually, something clicks. 

You develop that something further and take it to the nth. 

Where does that leave you?

You have to keep chancing it. 

There is no way around this. 

Make funds available for the R&D. 

Have the courage. 

Don’t be afraid of a hundred losses. 

Winning is around the corner. 

Dance the Bawwdy Music!

..dance the body music

makes you feel so happy

dance the body music

music makes you happy

hear the music play

feel your body sway

hear the dj say

oh what a big smash big smash

dance the body music…

 

Osibisa, was it, late ‘70s?

Yup. 

What an cool swingy number, sung by an unforgettable band!

Disco beat. Rhythm. Easy peasy lyrics. Synth. Floor’s going crazy. Song’s all over the people. People are all over the song. 

Euphoria. 

Why are we talking about it?

Music or euphoria?

Euphoria. 

I used the music element to paint a picture of euphoria in your mind.

What is it about euphoria?

Why does it push me on alert?

Is it that I don’t wish to enjoy my life?

What could I have against euphoria?

I’ll tell you. 

Before I tell you, I’d like to mention that I love the feeling. 

It fantastic being in the feeling. I’ve got one eye on my alerts though. 

WHY?

We make our biggest mistakes when hit by Euphoria. 

Yes. 

Surprised?

Don’t be. 

Under the influence of Euphoria, our biochemistry is so, so different. 

We’re far from peak. 

Our defences are down. 

We are highly capable of plunging into…an abyss…oblivion…call it what you feel is befitting. 

We let go of safety. 

We bet big. 

We bet dangerous. 

We bet the farm.

That’s what euphoria can do to us. 

I do feel euphoric, at times. 

A trade’s gone well. 

A deal’s come through. 

Stability at home. 

Euphoria. 

However…

…as I told you…

…one eye is on my alerts. 

If even a single thought emerges of betting big, bigger than my normal size, well, my predefined red-alert also goes up with such a thought. 

I see my alert’s red flare, and the unwanted thought subsides. 

I am able to sick to within the confines of my position-size rule.

If even one thought emerges of trying a new untested line, just because all current lines are doing ok, well, my predefined strategy saturation alert also goes up with such a thought. 

I remind myself that I’ve decided upon financial strategy saturation, and don’t plan to add a new line, at least not in a hurry or upon an impulse. 

I’m able to stick to my strategy saturation decision. 

Are you understanding what I’m trying to tell you?

If yes, I’m so happy for you. 

You’re not leaving it for later. You’re understanding it without being hit by the aftermath of a decision taken under the influence of euphoria. 

Cheers mate!

🙂

Auto is our Motto

What are you doing…

…that’s not on auto?

Next question is, why is it not on auto?

On purpose?

Sure, there’s some stuff that you’d like to reserve for manual. That’s absolutely fine. 

Not on purpose?

Meaning you want it to be on auto, but haven’t done so?

Right. 

Why not?

Meaning, why are you not using that one big benefit of the twenty-first century – to your benefit?

Lazy?

Couldn’t care less?

Too complicated?

In a rut?

Whatever. 

Bottomline is, you’re losing out. 

How?

You’re losing out on…

…time…

…growth…

…evolution…

…prosperity…

…sense of fulfilment…

…sense of purpose…

…and what have you.

You can also start figuring out for yourself how you are losing out on these things amongst other stuff. No spoon-feeding here. 

Automation is the minimal requirement of our times. 

Automation requires transcending an activation barrier. 

This is a one-time input, before the concerned process goes on auto. 

This is also the step which makes many lose interest in going auto. 

Well, from nothing comes nothing. 

You will have to put in that time and energy for the one-time input that pushes the process into auto-mode. 

There is no way around it. 

However, each time you’ve gone auto, you’ll get a huge sense of accomplishment. 

You’ll want to recreate that feeling again and again and again. 

You’ll want to put more and more stuff on auto. 

With so much of auto stuff adding to you from the background, your life will become fuller. More enjoyable. More time to pursue whatever you wish to pursue. More time to be…

…you.

Cheers. 

Saturation

I don’t wish to add to my repertoire.

It has reached some kind of saturation. 

There’s no limit to how far I can go within my repertoire.

However, it is not comfortable with strategy addition. 

Fine. 

Did you just have this dialogue?

With yourself?

It’s good you did. 

While you start out in a field, you’re developing it. 

There needs to come a stage, in a while, where you have exactly identified, that you’re developing this, this and this further. Nothing else. 

Once you know what the exact game is, all your focus is required to take it to the nth level. What that n is going to be is up to you, again. 

Bottomline is, after a point, know your game. 

This is the game. 

This is what you are scaling up. 

That, that, that and that you are discarding, or have discarded. 

You need to reach this point within a reasonable time-frame. 

Then comes the next step. 

Pray, what might that be?

Automation. 

Before embarking upon scaling up, that what remains in your saturated repertoire – automate it. 

Staff. 

Technology. 

What have you.

Use any means for automation. 

Anything that’s legit, and which works. 

Use it. 

Standing instruction. 

Alarm. 

Alert.

Whatever. 

Automation is a huge blessing if used properly and after having tied up all the loose ends. 

If implemented in a hurry with sieve-like loopholes, it can even take you to the cleaner’s.

Implement automation in a justified and sure-shot fashion. 

Do you know what’s going to happen now?

You have created a situation, where scaling up means just punching in an additional 0 in the right corner, before the decimal point. 

Wow.

After a while, the complete field will be on auto. 

Why?

If you’re wise, you won’t scale up beyond your sweet-spot. 

Why?

Because obnoxious scales come with obnoxious problems.

What’s obnoxious?

Anything beyond your sweet-spot…

…is obnoxious. 

What is your sweet-spot?

That only you can discover. 

So what now is the exact status of the field?

Your repertoire in the field has reached complete saturation regarding strategy and scale. It is on full auto. It is adding to your well-being without you batting an eye-lid. 

Congratulations. 

However, where does that leave you?

Is that even a question?

There’s so much to do in the world. 

Discover a new field. 

Develop your new repertoire in this field. 

Take it to strategy saturation. Automate it. Scale it up. Take it to the sweet-spot. Wean off the scaling up. Move on. 

What a life it’s going to be for you!