Friday, 27 January 2017

Building the Right Investment Temperament - Excerpts from Howard Marks - Part 3

There are two essential ingredients for profit in a declining market: you have to have a view on intrinsic value, and you have to hold that belief strongly enough to be able to hang in and buy as price decline suggests you are wrong. Oh yes, there's a third:you have to be right.

This will only come from experience of being right about your view.

For a value investor, price has to be the starting point. It has been demonstrated time and time again that no asset is so good that it can't become a bad investment if bought at too high a price. And there are a few assets so bad that they can't be a good investment when bought cheap enough.
There's no such thing as a good or bad idea regardless of price!

This is a critical point that people miss in their quest for "quality" stocks!! **Quality is not irrespective of price.**

Investing is a popularity content, and most dangerous thing is to buy something at the peak of popularity. At that point, all favourable facts and opinions are already factored into its price, and no new buyers are left to emerge.

There is no easy way of identifying when the peak of popularity is reached. But one should have a general sense of when prices have gone up way beyond their worth. And then the trick is to have the emotional fortitude of getting out of the position.

The safest and potentially mist profitable thing to do is to buy something when no one likes it. Given time, it's popularity, and thus it's price, can only go one way: up.

This requires a certain mindset of contrarianism and ability to sit through extended period of non-performance of stock price. This may specially be difficult when other stocks are running up consistently.



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