Sheer Moat Investing is not Antifragile 

There we go again. 

That word. 

It’s not going to leave us. 

Nicholas Nassim Taleb has coined together what is possibly the market-word of the century. 

Antifragile. 

We’re equity-people. 

We want to remain so. 

We don’t wish to desert equity just because it is a fragile asset-class by itself. 

No. 

We wish to make our equity-foray as antifragile as possible. 

First-up, we need to understand, that when panic sets in, everything falls. 

The fearful weak hand doesn’t differentiate between a gem and a donkey-stock. He or she just sells and sells alike. 

Second-up, we need to comprehend that this is the age of shocks. There will be shocks. Shock after shock after shock. Such are the times. Please acknowledge this, and digest it. 

To make our equity-play antifragile, we’ll need to incorporate solid strategies to account for above two facts. 

We love moats, right? 

No problem. 

We’ll keep our moats. 

Just wait for moat-stocks to show value. Then, we’ll pick them up. 

We go in during the aftermath of a shock. Otherwise, we don’t. 

We go in with small quanta. Time after time after time. 

Voila. 

We’re  already sufficiently antifragile. 

No magic. 

Just sheer common sense. 

We’re still buying quality stocks. 

We’re buying them when they’re not fragile, or lesser fragile. 

We’re going in each time with minute quanta such that the absence of these quanta (after they’ve gone in) doesn’t alter our financial lives. We’re saving the rest of our pickled corpus for the next shock, after which the gem-stock will be yet lesser fragile. 

Yes, we’re averaging down, only because we’re dealing with gems. We’ll never average down with donkey-stocks. We might trade these, averaging up. We won’t be investing in them. 

Thus, we asymptotically approach antifragility in a gem-stock. 

Over time, after many cycles, the antifragile bottom-level of the gem-stock should be moving significantly upwards. 

Gem-stock upon gem-stock upon gem-stock. 

We’re done already. 

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What to do in the Age of Shocks?

Wait for a shock.

That’s it.

Then go in… a bit.

Sound simple?

Ain’t.

Why?

Firstly, patience.

Who has patience, today?

Few.

Secondly, psychology.

Shock brings pessimism.

You don’t want to go in, not even a bit.

That is the whole thing.

Punchline. Understand it, and you’ve won already.

Thirdly, funds.

Who has funds, when the shock arrives?

Few.

Why?

Barely anyone knows how to SIT on funds.

I didn’t either.

Self-taught.

Through mistakes and pain.

By putting money on the line… losing it.

Took eleven years.

Now I know.

So don’t tell me that one is only born with the ability to sit.

Don’t waste your funds. Save them. They are your soldiers.

Fourthly, energy reserves.

Who has energy reserves when the shock arrives?

Few.

Why?

We’re too busy doing this doing that, always, forever. We don’t know how to conserve energy and build up reserves. Those who do then use their reserves to carry forward their strategies upon the arrival of a shock.

Fifthly, focus.

The hallmark of a big winner is focus.

Who has focus?

Few.

We’re too busy diversifying. It’s safer. Investing in the wake of shocks requires pinpointed focus.

Sixthly, courage.

Who has courage?

Few.

Why?

We’ve been taught to avoid, and move on. Life’s too full of BS that needs to be avoided. However, coming out during shocks needs courage. Face the enemy, and fight.

Seventhly, and perhaps this should have been on the top of the list, common-sense.

Who has common-sense?

Almost no one.

Why?

We’re too busy being complicated and sophisticated. We want to portray falsehood. We miss the forest for the trees. However, shocks are tackled with common-sense. Simplicity in thinking is paramount. The simplest ideas making the most sense are also the most successful ones.

Eighthly, long-term vision.

Who has vision?

Handful of people.

Why?

We’re too near-sighted. We want instant gratification. However, a shock presents excellent ground to root yourself in for the long-term. Understand this, and you’ll have understood a lot.

I could go on.

That’s quite enough though.

Above are eight points to think about,  to be seen as eight weapons that need sharpening, to come out fighting in the age of shocks.

Be patient, optimistic, fund-heavy, energy-heavy, focused and brave. Use your common-sense. Have long-term vision. BASICS.

Wishing you successful investing, in an age riddled with shocks.

🙂

The Age of Shocks

We are in it. 

Bang in the middle. 

There’s some shock almost everyday. 

Even Yellen’s words have shock effects. 

Had anyone even heard of Yellen a few years ago?

Natural disasters, terrorism, scams, frauds, upheaval…

…well, you have no choice…

…but to incorporate them into your market strategy. 

If you don’t, well, God bless you and God help you. 

So, where do we stand. 

Definitely towards value. 

Growth – hmmm, we’ll take growth after we take value, in a stock picked up for value. 

We’re not following any growth strategies. 

Let growth happen as a matter of course. 

We’re not entering something which is in the middle of growth. 

We’re entering it before its growth potential is apparent to everyone. 

Why?

Stocks, whose growth is apparent to everyone, are very susceptible indeed, should they show even one bad quarter. They can be cut down to half their size even if one ruddy quarter goes out of line. That’s the problem in the age of shocks. 

What about stocks with growth potential which are in the doldrums?

Well, bad quarters are the norm for them, temporarily. One more bad quarter is not going to make much of a difference. It will make a small but digestible difference. Nowhere near the effect the bad quarter will have on a growth stock. 

Yes, the way to go is contrarian. 

We’re going contrarian with our eyes open. 

We’re not picking the dogs of the Dow, or the rats of the Sensex.

We’re picking gems people are throwing into the dustbin. 

What’s this dustbin?

We’ve made this dustbin. 

In cyber-space. 

It scans what people throw away. 

It couples 4-7 algorithms, makes them into a mother-algorithm, and scans. 

Today, one doesn’t need to know how to programme to achieve this. 

One just puts the algorithms together on any leading equity website. 

One concocts one’s dustbin. 

One looks in the dustbin everyday. 

What have people thrown away?

Anything that looks valuable?

No?

Let’s move on. 

Yes?

Lovely. Lets take a closer look. Let’s take this stock that’s looking valuable, and let’s put it through the works. 

Let’s fully analyze the stock. 

We do our analysis. 

Takes us a day or two. 

It’s yes or no time. 

No?

Move on. 

Yes?

Look at the charts. Pick up accordingly, in the next day or two. 

Quantum?

Small. 

So on and so forth.