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About a year ago a friend recommended a book called “What Investors Really Want” written by Meir Statman and copyrighted in 2011. This is not meant to be a review of his book. However, let’s look at the overall message from his book as to what investors want. Here is a brief list of desires. They want higher profits, but with low risks. They want to play and always be the big winner. They want to save for tomorrow, and yet spend today. They want high hopes of riches, and at the same time be free from the fear of poverty. Naturally, they want to see no losses in their investments. Let’s not also forget, they do not want to pay any taxes. Additionally, they want to stay true to their values and expect fairness. Plus, they want to invest in their children’s future and their educational need associated with higher college costs. In summary, if I did my math correctly, that adds up to about thirteen (13) items in total.

It is easy to see that within these thirteen items there are a number of conflicts of objectives. This in itself creates problems in the implementation. But, note these are all behavioral aspects. These are all “wants.” This is main problem with this entire list. It is all based upon an investor’s emotions. Emotions and investments do not typically make the best combination.

This brings me to a basic emotion which is a common practice among many investors and many financial folks as well. The mass majority of investors “follow the crowd.” Specifically, they attempt to time the market in relation to predicting the macroeconomic developments. This is an extremely popular approach to investing. By definition, popular means they appeal to the masses.

In speaking with a person they informed me that they have been out of the stock market for the past seven (7) years, because everyone knows this Bull market is overdue and a Bear market is coming. Another person told me he did not want to invest in the market because it was over priced and he could not make any gain is this market. These are only two actual examples. They are both great examples though of how folks think and act as the majority. Stop and think about this emotional concept to “follow the crowd.” If you do the same thing as everyone else, then you will achieve the same results as everyone else. Can you image the amount of gains just these two individuals are missing? Logic would tell us that this is not the path to take if you plan to obtain above average returns on your investments. It kind of reminds me of that poem written by Robert Frost in 1916 entitled, “The Road Not Taken”. Many think this poem is one of Frost’s best works. Some even believe it is his most misunderstood poems as most people miss his main point. Most familiar with the work will recall the key phrases, “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I – I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.” Frost’s point is basically the simple message: to follow your own path. As it is in his poem, it is, in investing. The rewards come to those who take their own path and do not follow the crowd. At Port Wren Capital, LLC, we never follow the crowd as we seek to achieve above average returns, we know we must take our own path. Our subscribers also wish to achieve higher returns realize the path less traveled is what makes the difference in the long term for their investments. So why would you choose to “follow the crowd” and settle for just average returns?

At Port Wren Capital, LLC, we specialize in picking specific undervalued U.S. stocks using fundamental analysis developed by Benjamin Graham using a five step process. We have beaten the S&P500, DJIA and NASDAQ benchmarks since we started 5 years ago on our own investments. Discover the difference for yourself. To learn more contact us today.

Published: 9/1/18




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