Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Be realistic and you will avoid disappointment

It is worth reflecting on what your objectives are in your investment journey.

Having a clear sense of what you REALISTICALLY expect to achieve will help you to focus on what types of shares you may wish to buy, and having already considered what type of investing personality you are, what behaviours to be aware of and what your risk tolerance is, you can start to search for your investments with a clear sense of why you are going down a particular road.

If you do not have a clear sense of what you wish to achieve, it will be much more likely that you will make a less than optimum choice of investments, and that you may become disillusioned with what you achieve.

Be modest in your ambitions and realistic about what can be achieved. 
-  Do not expect to be right 100% of the time.  Anything over 50% of the time and you are doing well.
-  One of the key skills to learn is a little about how to understand and appreciate a business, and not the share price.  This approach will serve you well.

You should be realistic about your goals.

"In this business if you're good, you're right six times out of ten.  You're never going to be right nine times out of ten."  Peter Lynch

"It's not whether you're right or wrong that's important, but how much money you make when you're right and how much you lose when you're wrong."   George Soros

"If you took our top 15 decisions out, we'd have a pretty average record.  It wasn't hyperactivity, but a hell of a lot of patience.  You stuck to your principles and when opportunities came along, you pounced on them with vigor."  Charlie Munger.

Expect some of your share to go down, and some to go up.  The more you do your research and the more you learn over time, the relative proportion of the latter in relation to the former should increase.  If it does not, you may want to step back and reflect on what might be going wrong.  

A tolerance for ambiguity will serve you well as an investor, as will an inquiring mind.

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