This is the Second Part in a small Series of just a couple of Blogs and you probably need to read Part 1 first for this to really make much sense. You can find it here:
This is personally a tough one for me. I am fascinated by Macroeconomics and Politics and as a result there is a huge problem that I most likely give far too much weight to Macro issues when it comes to managing my Portfolio. I envy people who just seem to be able to blindly ignore Macro and as much as I try to do it, I just tend to find something in the Outlook that worries me.
I am sure that in much of my scribbles over the years I have touched on the subject of ‘Over-thinking’ but perhaps not really brought it all together in one blog that hopefully puts the subject nicely to bed. The essence is that I get a strong sense that I have spent many many years learning things about Stocks and Markets and Investing and Trading, and all the related stuff, but it is only in more recent years that I have been actively trying to ‘un-learn’ much of the stuff I know and be a lot more basic and elemental in my approach.
Less is More.
Keep it simple.
Complex is bad.
A few months ago I produced a series of Checklists to be used when Buying particular kinds of Stocks and then some while later it hit me that I ought to produce one for those very high risk, often loss-making, start-up type businesses on AIM that I avoid on the whole but occasionally I will buy into one. Before getting stuck into this particular one, here are Links to the other ones I produced – in fact this is the final one but it has Links to the others:
In the Investors Chronicle dated 17th to 23rd May 2019 with ‘The Activist Effect’ as the main headline on the front cover, on page 32 there is an article called ‘Fund Managers are human after all – that’s the problem’, which makes a very good read although it is perhaps a bit ‘academic’. I guess that is where I come in and if I am doing my ‘job’ correctly then I hope I can convert what seems academic into something that normal people can digest.
It was written by Nilushi Karunaratne and the high level summary would be that Portfolio Managers make good Buying Decisions but make poor Selling Decisions – and the interesting bit is that some of the conclusions are perhaps worth taking onboard ourselves as Private Investors (assuming you are not a Portfolio Manager reading this !!) because, contrary to what many people think, institutional investors are often no better than we are (and many are worse). And the simple fact is that human psychological biases apply whoever you are. Later in my Conclusion bit I will address what we can learn.
Clearly this is Part 2 of these particular Blogs and you can find Part 1 here if you have not already endured it or you need a refresher:
What can we do to control ‘Panic’?
However much experience we have and however much we prepare and work to reduce the negative impacts, to an extent I think feelings of Panic are pretty much inevitable although perhaps with time we Panic less and it is more a feeling of mild anxiety than a full-on Panic Attack. Anyway, bearing this in mind, it is really about what can we do to lower the dangerous occurrences of such feelings and to reduce their severity when they do strike? I suspect the ‘solutions’ come in 3 categories: Forward Planning, Careful Portfolio Management and Psychological Techniques.
Back in early 2017 my mate Phil wrote a couple of Guest Blogs about Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Lending which are very good as they describe in detail the ins and outs. Anyway, since then a lot has changed in the sector as it has matured and Phil has bashed out the following Guest Blog which updates where we are now. The original Blogs can be found at the Links below, and Big Thanks to Phil for providing this refresher,
The ‘working title’ for this Blog when it was just a mere whisp of an idea in the WheelieBonce was ‘Only the Inexperienced Panic’ but the more I thought about it the more I felt this was a bit insulting and in reality we all panic but there are ways we can reduce such episodes and I wanted to talk about how to do this.
As usual with my Blogs, a lot of the ideas just come out of thin air and no doubt my Brain is triggered by something which seems unrelated that I then twist (probably much too far) into a topic loosely related to Investing !! My inspiration for this one came from the icon Thomas Weekes on ‘Misfit Garage’ on Discovery Turbo when he came out with the line, “My old daddy used to say, only the inexperienced panic”, and that cemented the thought in my head.
As always, if you have not endured Part 1 yet, you really should read it first or none of this will make any sense (I am not guaranteeing that it will make much more sense even if you do read Part 1 but at least you might have a fighting chance) and you can find Part 1 here:
In Part 1 I outlined why “You can’t time the Markets” comes about, but what are its flaws?
This Blog Series covers some pretty complicated stuff and I recommend that you read Parts 1 and 2 before you attack this one - you can find them here:
Example 3 - You want to buy 3 Shares in Company XYZ - a ‘Tree-Shake’
This next situation only tends to happen on Small Stocks which are illiquid and where the actions of one Market Maker can affect the Price - on a large and liquid Stock, this kind of thing simply cannot happen as in effect it can throw up an arbitrage opportunity where another Market Maker can take advantage of the artificial Price move and in addition such big Stocks are watched by Traders in general for every tiny move and any mis-pricings would be quickly bought or sold away.
It’s funny the things in life than can really get under our skin and something that really grates with me is when I see people on Twitter sending out a Tweet to the effect of “A big Buy for 200,000 Shares just went through on XYZ……” (heck, even just typing this is getting my Blood Pressure up !!).
Apart from the fact that the vast majority of people who Tweet sh*te like this are probably Rampers (or perhaps they are just not very clued up on what is really going on), the big issue with this is that if there is a Buy for any Shares then it is a simple truth that there is always one or more Sells on the other side. So if you are taking notice of a Buy Trade and thinking that this is a good thing, then you must be making the cognitive leap that whoever was on the Buy side knows more than whoever is on the Sell side. Without knowing who the individuals are, that is obviously impossible to know and even if you did know who was Buying, you are making an assumption that they are correct (no one is 100% right - even Warren Buffett gets things wrong).
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