Crikey, the blog’s 4 years old soon! So this post’s been on my to-do list for quite some time now…as they say in the hedge fund world, you’re nothing ’til you’ve racked up a 3 year track record! And maybe it’s the perfect time for it, anyway – with an hysterical media insisting the market (& the global economy) are on the verge of collapse again, a reminder of the opportunity & rewards of medium/long term equity investment may offer some welcome relief.
First, I should remind readers of my approach since day one. When I started out here, there were some great investment blogs (some which I read to this day) that served as inspiration. Except many didn’t have any kind of portfolio tracking, or performance, which frustrated me… Now, don’t get me wrong, performance certainly isn’t the be-all & end-all of any blog. Quite obviously, the quality of the investment ideas & analysis is far more important.
Or is it..?
I mean, how on earth do you evaluate an investor’s conviction regarding a specific stock…when you don’t know whether he’s really putting his money where his mouth is (or even if he owns the stock at all)?! I’m not talking dollar/euros & cents here, disclosing the relative size of a position is more than enough. Call me crass & materialistic, but I tend to pay a hell of a lot more attention to someone telling me about their new 10% portfolio holding, rather than some 2% place-holder – how about you?! And then there’s the sad fact that investing isn’t just about investment ideas. As any hedge fund honcho will tell you, a great analyst doesn’t necessarily make a great fund manager…
‘Cos play money ain’t the same thing as real money!
[NB: And nope, I’m not (& have never been) a frustrated hedge fund analyst!]
So, when it comes to investment blogs, it’s natural to want a more holistic view of what an investor really brings to the table. Are they prepared to expose their portfolio to real-time public scrutiny? And if they are, can they actually live with that decision? For example: How do they perform under pressure, and how do they deal with the pernicious impact(s) of fear & greed? Do they insist on defending a failed investment thesis & going down with the ship, or can they bring themselves to admit they’re wrong…even when they secretly believe they’re still right? Or as any good trader might ask: