I have a two-fold reason for starting this site: one, I’m tired of the America-centrism that exists in most investment blogs, since most of them are based in the United States. And two, I’m a natural cynic and anti-evangelist and I feel this perspective on investing is not as present as it should be online (or even in the real world). Everyone thinks that there’s an effective system out there that just needs to be discovered, often through “technical” or “fundamental” means, as if these two terms can bring some form of empiricism to what at heart is a slowed-down form of intelligent gambling. The first trucks in colourful graphs and arbitrary rule-systems, while the second ascribes implicit value to companies, when value is solely the agreed upon price of a populace. Gold investors never seem to remember this, or fall back on the old “humans have always valued gold.” Always? Really?
Anyhow, as you can plainly tell already, I’m not much of a believer. Why do I invest? For various reasons: a chance to make money, a gambling arena that has no real house edge, an intellectual pursuit with no real solution. Maybe it just tickles my fancy when the numbers go up — entertainment? After a good seven years market-watching and reading and thinking about companies, I’m as willing to go with an experienced hunch and an adaptable attitude toward my investments (Rule No. 1, which I will continue to expound in the days ahead: Learn to Sell) as I am with some carefully calculated strategy that ultimately fails when some factor remains unaccounted for. It’s busywork, and can only help you so far before you just have to open your eyes and survey the scene.
With that said, my intention here is not to recommend companies’ stocks or educate the newbie investor. I will write about companies that I am thinking about and perhaps write about larger macroeconomic trends (although I’m not much of a macro-ist, frankly — I think of investing in this way as much like burning down a forest to kill a tree. Hmm, think I’ll need a better analogy than that!). I doubt I will describe my portfolio or its results, mainly because I think that if you do begin to do that, unless you are completely transparent about your results, that it is easy to become a shill for yourself — letting people know your best trades, or just the percentage but not the sizing. It’s natural for a lot of people to want to shine their shiniest shoes when they go out. I take the opposite tack, and usually obsess over my mistakes, but in either case, it’s never an accurate reflection of a person’s investing ability and tends to turn most investment blogs into de facto newsletters. So I will endeavour to be as objective as I can be and admit when I can’t be.
I will also admit to not being an expert on any stock, even the ones that fall into my career of technology. No one can be, even many of the employees of the company. Everyone who buys and sells stocks curries to certain favourite elements of a stock, and neglects other parts, so while I don’t have a complete and detailed view of GM, I do have an opinion on it and have acted on that opinion in the past — I don’t think anyone who really thinks about it can believe there are people who are experts on a stock. There are just people with more or less information, and in a strange twist, I think sometimes too much information can cause problems, too. There’s a delicate balance there, one which makes me think that investing still falls closer to the realm of art, ultimately.
So, dear reader, watch this space!