There’s one category of email I receive ’bout every second day. A typical example will thank me for the blog (yes, always good to hear!), stress they’re a regular reader, often cite a share we own in common, but then we reach the real meat – usually a somewhat impassioned plea:
Please tell me…where & how exactly do you come up with your ideas?!
All appear to be from genuine readers & investors – I certainly don’t think anybody expects some kind of get-rich-quick answer. [Though it gives a taste of how such a desire is so regularly exploited by the unethical & downright criminal]. I suspect this plea reflects a pretty common frustration for investors – where & how do I find new ideas…and how do I know if they’re actually bloody good ideas? Of course, I’ve no magic short-cut to offer here. My definitive answer’s still:
Read, read, read & then read some more…
I covered this ground in ‘Why I Read…’ (Parts I, II, & III – probably my most popular blog series ever). [‘Why I Write…’ may be a useful companion piece]. Looking back, I think these lines (from my final post) nicely sum up the challenge & benefits of reading:
‘I’m talking about territory where the greatest opportunities, and the greatest investors & traders, reside….For them, you can probably chalk it up to pure innate talent. For the rest of us, I think huge swathes of reading is the inevitable toll you pay to get there – however you go about it:
But reading annual reports will give you the figures. Reading non-fiction gives you the facts (& the right context). And most importantly, reading fiction allows you to recognize the fear & greed in yourself (& others), and enables you to see & imagine the world very differently.‘