Friday, April 13, 2018

The investors alphabet: Advices from Tao Jones Averages

In his book 'Tao Jones Average', the author Bennett W Goodspeed gives a set of 26 advices to a a budding investor. It is structured as one advice per letter of the English alphabet. Here is a summary of the advices.

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  1. Be a light sleeper: Be aware of the changing conditions so that you can act on them quickly.
  2. Be your own judge of value: Bargains are rarely announced, so learn to assess bargains.
  3. Do not be too sure: The time to be careful is when you are sure. You may be right now, but could be wrong the next time.
  4. Stay diversified: The world is changing rapidly that it do not make sense to put all your eggs in one basket. What happens in one area may have significant impact on a totally unrelated area.
  5. Avoid the recommendations of experts: These are so widely disseminated that you won't get any value by following them.
  6. Value the art of selling: Key to investment success is knowing when to sell. Give as much care to end as to the beginning. 
  7. Be comfortable with risk taking: 
  8. Stick to what you know
  9. Use value guidelines: Develop matrices to assess value. You could use commonly available matrices like PE ratio. They help to curb the enthusiasm of the right brain.
  10. Take your losses: Admit your mistakes and book losses
  11. Don't procrastinate in decision making: Analyse your portfolio. If you will not buy more of a stock, you should sell it, after considering tax implications, of course
  12. Don't churn your account: Avoid trading
  13. Don't fight the tape: Timing is important in investing. Sometimes it is better to wait on sidelines than fight the tape. 
  14. Don't just hope: Hope is a false god and investor's worst enemy. Do not continue a loss making position 'hoping' that things will improve.
  15. Avoid insider information: Always invest based on the fundamentals. Stick to a process
  16. When you feel out of sync don't play: When you don't feel 'in step' with the market, better to walk away for the time being.
  17. Avoid formula investing: Formula investing based on historical facts will not work in a fast changing world. Try not to confuse chance with cause and effect.
  18. Trust your vision: Be on the lookout for contrarian opportunities
  19. Mistakes are OK: Don't be afraid to make them. 
  20. Be comfortable holding cash: Understand the 'option value' of cash. Cash is what helps you take advantage of buying opportunity. Don't fall for the temptation to invest your cash.
  21. Use both brains: Sleep on investment ideas. Especially if it is a 'can't miss' idea. That is a flash of warning, right there.
  22. Bounce your ideas: 
  23. View yourself as a typical consumer: Each of us is a 'Universal Consumer'. This means that our actions and that of our family will provide many investment clues. Also point 18 above.
  24. Coincidence is more than a chance: The concept of synchronicity - idea that coincidence is more than just chance - can greatly heighten investor's awareness. By looking at 'coincidence' as an event that contains a message, you can become sensitive to opportunities and dangers that otherwise you would likely ignore.
  25. Avoid the pied piper: The fact that a person is right 7 times in a row, may not mean that he will be right the eighth time. 
  26. Be patient, but move decisively: Use both your yin and yang qualities. Sense opportunities with yin qualities and then seize them with yanglike decisiveness. Good investing is a matter of waiting to see the opening and then moving with strength.

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