Sunday, August 30, 2009

Being "Slightly Better"

I mentioned some time ago that I bought a bunch of books from Fraser Publishing. One of those books was The Battle for Investment Survival by Gerald Loeb. Each time I pick up one of these books, I'm reminded that the basic tenets of being a steward of one's money are not different.

Perhaps it seems useless to read the same concept articulated by different folks, but it does seek to reinforce the concepts and, more importantly, convey a nuance that deepens the understanding. Loeb writes:

Your best weapons against the forces that tend to clip your fortune are knowledge and experience. Realization of the conditions that exist should lead you to learn more about them. . . The acid test is to learn to be a knowing participant in the game of getting ahead of the other fellow. (p. 212).

When I read that this morning, I was reminded of Russel Napier's conversation with James Authers of Financial Times. Authers did "A Long View Segment"...[Geez, I just went over there to find it for you, but I started reading other stuff.....I'll never get this post are on your own to hunt it out. I know that I posted a link on this blog when I saw it the first time. I'll find it for you later.]

There's the funny joke about trying to out run a don't have to be faster than the bear, just faster than your companions. Such was Napier's point about successful investing. You don't have to be THE smartest, just slightly smarter/quicker than most people. And that's called out-maneuvering. Those who jumped in the market in March and are likely selling their stocks to all of the underperforming fund managers, were slightly smarter/quicker! They outmaneuvered me, but I was busy saving lives from a burning business.

Financial Sense on Line had Jack Schwager on talking about 'market wizards'. Let's face it...I'm never going to be a market wizard (I'll refrain from saying that you will not likely be one either!). It is almost scary to see these books and interviews wher there is even a suggestion that MOST investors can attain such success. How many cellists get to Yo Yo Ma's level?

Though I've consigned myself that I will not be a market wizard, I don't mind aspiring to being a wizard's apprentice. And if you are going to be better than MOST of the investing crowd, how do you plan to do it? Like most simple questions, it's a powerful one. You might as well tack up "How will I know when I'm wrong?" AND my favorite "What do I have to believe to be true for X, Y, Z?"

I've only skimmed a few parts of this book--enough to want to launch a post in this dry desert of a blog of mine. I hope that this post is only slightly better than something else you might have read today.


Anonymous said...

Leisa, I purchased The battle For Investment Survival a year or so ago. I can honestly say I have not read every single word. Although, when I do pick it up from time to time, I always seem to find a nugget or two.

You’re right as far as the information goes. That is, most books are a repetition of what you already know worded/explained slightly different. I have really scaled back on purchasing trading/investing books. Occasionally I may find a book or two that sparks my interest, and I may make a purchase. For the most part I reread books I already have. I am constantly amazed by the information I have forgot or misinterpreted. Duh!


Leisa said...

I read with flags and a pencil. I have fewbooks with many, many flags.

If you've not read Justin Mamis' series, I would urge you to get them. Most particularly, I like and recommend The Nature of Risk. That book has been my most valuable read in the last 12 months largely because I read it after toiling about in the market with some earnest.

I cannot recommend it highly enough, but I realize that people have different tastes.

Anonymous said...

I just went to Amazon and purchased it. Thanks.


Leisa said...

V, Please let me know how you like it. And if you don't like it, I'd be instructed by your reasons why.

Anonymous said...

I should get it by Thursday or Friday which will give me an extended weekend to read it.
I will definitely let you know if I liked it or not. However, please don’t make me write an essay. :o)


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