Category Archives: psychology

The Strategic Investor: Part III, Go Slow to Go Fast

the-tortoise-and-the-hareAesop was the author of the most tortured parable in the history of finance. Everyone knows that you’re supposed to bet on the tortoise over the hare. Slow and steady wins the race. It’s a winning message. Everyone likes the idea of steady returns. Steady feels solid.

The desire for constant action irrespective of underlying conditions is responsible for many losses in Wall Street even among the professionals, who feel that they must take home some money every day, as though they were working for regular wages.
-Jesse Livermore

Steady would be fine but, when it comes to the capital markets, it’s unrealistic. Investment markets are never permanently steady. They can be intermittently steady though. We’re coming off of Continue reading

The Strategic Investor: Part II, Hating the Win

chess-strategyThe first part of this series was about how learning to “love the loss” could provide protection, put us in front of more opportunities, unlock time and help make us more objective thinkers. The indirect strategy of gaining by losing can be extremely effective when done right. This part of the series addresses the corollary to loving the loss – hating the win. Continue reading

The Strategic Investor: Part I, Learning to Love the Loss

What was the most memorable line of the original Karate Kid movie? Probably, “wax on wax off.” Remember that? This was the part where Mr. Miyagi had Daniel painting his fence and sanding his deck and waxing his cars:

Miyagi: [Miyagi returns from fishing as Daniel is painting the house] Oh, miss spot.
Daniel: What spot? Hey, how come you didn’t tell me you were goin’ fishing?
Miyagi: You not here when I go.
Daniel: Well, maybe I wanted to go, you ever think of that?
Miyagi: You karate training.
Daniel: I’m WHAT? I’m bein’ your goddamn SLAVE is what I’m bein’ here man, now c’mon we made a deal here! Continue reading

Keeping Your Head When All About You…


As of this writing (3/28/13), we’re all celebrating an impressively strong first quarter in domestic stocks. The current rally began in the middle of last November, so we’re coming up on six pretty good months for the market. A few more quarters like this and we’ll start to see stories in the news about plumbers and lawyers quitting their jobs to become daytraders. Good markets can test your resolve just as much as bad markets. Continue reading

One Question That Makes All The Difference

The Daily Barometer (Oregon State University student newspaper) recently ran a story about a student club that aims to deliver real world experience in the area of portfolio management and stock analysis. The OSU Foundation lets the club manage ~$1.4MM of real money, so it’s more than just a theoretical exercise. It sounds like a pretty good program and the members appear to be earnest and passionate about participating. One part of the article in particular caught my eye: Continue reading