A few basic questions…: Part II

A few basic questions…: Part II

(In continuation with the previous article…)

Where should investors spend their time?

Investors should focus on that sweet spot. They can revisit each business that’s near buyable levels, to make sure they don’t miss anything on risk and quality. While evaluating their buying opportunities, investors should also explicitly check if they are being too cheap. Investors should be prepared to buy at a price that strikes a balance between losing money and missing opportunities.

What will happen in the short run?

Anything. It is impossible to predict what will happen in the short run. Investors can keep revisiting these basic questions at every price level for their consideration set. There is no investment process that can reliably deliver good short-term results. Aiming for good short-term results jeopardizes good long-term results. One side benefit of sticking to safe and good is that one is less likely to question business fundamentals just because price tanks. In weaker businesses that periodically require kindness of strangers, reflexivity complicates life.

What will happen in the long run?

Across decisions, one should hope for outcomes that are better than bad, with wipe-outs being rare. In aggregate, investors hope for satisfactory returns, both absolute and relative. But they are far from certain and there’s a decent chance they won’t work out at all. Investors’ assurance is a vague comfort drawn from history and experience. Even if it works out, the long run can turn out to be painfully long.

What will one miss?

A lot. It’s not possible to catch every great opportunity of the coming decade. There will surely be icky banks and dodgy unicorns among tomorrow’s rockstars. Many a 50 PE will look cheap in hindsight, like in those cherrypicked back-tests. Investors should not aim to capture every likely winner. They should aim to do their best within what works for them.

More generally, the focus is central to any sensible method. Investors should zoom in on a subset of opportunities that fit into their way of thinking. What’s left out is usually way larger than what’s in. Straying outside their focus area implies that investors either don’t have a method or will implement it poorly. Living with FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) and envy is part of investing process.

How do these questions help?

Reassurance. Everyone knows what to do. The problem lies in sticking to it in scary times. If investors are at peace with their chosen approach, they’re less likely to lose their nerve or try to become someone else. Explicitly going back to basics helps one be more at peace with one’s chosen approach and act in line with it. Investors should avoid getting consumed by immediacy and noise.

Source: A Few Basic Questions from www.buggyhuman.substack.com By Anand Sridharan.

Asset Multiplier comments:

  • Investors should revisit the above-mentioned questions to stay aligned with their investment process.
  • Aiming for short-term results hinders the process of long-term wealth creation.
  • Instead of evaluating every winner, filtering out stocks that don’t match one’s investment strategy reduces the size of the stock universe and strengthens conviction.

Disclaimer: “The views expressed are for information purposes only. The information provided herein should not be considered as investment advice or research recommendation. The users should rely on their own research and analysis and should consult their own investment advisors to determine the merit, risks, and suitability of the information provided.”

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