Mar

19

The secret to my success is largely due to listening closely to those who are afraid of saying something stupid, but say it anyway, and avoiding those that feign certainty, say it brash and loud,  but are simply cheering on the crowd.  The person afraid that he may be saying something stupid, usually is thinking for himself and has thought things out and cares deeply.

My success with running started when a shy skinny runt of a kid walked onto a college track team without any high school experience, but did it anyway because he knew he had some talent. And had to beg the coach to even let me in practice, only after having a PE teacher vouch for me.

Most of my success in individual stock picking has come from my wife. When she talks about a stock to me I know she has thought about it and feels I am the expert. Hence she has a wonderful screen to weed out only those she is pretty sure are good bets.  If it wasn't for her I would probably stick solely with indexing.

A few of her calls, mostly after studying Value Line: Our first big winner, after studying was GGG in 1996. Next she begged me to ditch HP, now HPQ, after a three-bagger before Carlye came on board. A couple years ago she picked Deere.  She asked me to buy some prime Indiana corn farmland with her Dad — a double risk of feeling stupid.

When she says these things I have learned to pay particular attention.

I will leave unspoken the success I have enjoyed ignoring or shorting a "know it all."

Craig Bowles writes:

Economists such as Alan Greenspan are successful never making a stand, though. I used to work with one of those respected economists and he would never take a stand on anything. Worse, he seemed to get joy when another economist would take a stand and be wrong. He took it as confirmation that remaining neutral is the way to go.


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1 Comment so far

  1. M. Pogue on March 21, 2008 1:23 pm

    I concur. I might add. Reluctant people who do say something usually say the most profound thing in as few words as possible.

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