Professionally, I have worked in commercial mortgage lending for 18 years. I have been investing for longer than that, and I have been buying individual stocks for 17 years. Investing to me is more than a hobby, it has grown into a practice, a discipline.
Since I began investing, I have been through many markets. I started investing in earnest at the beginning of the dot.com boom. I remember buying technology companies and thinking that I was so smart. It was very easy. About that same time, I began to study Warren Buffet. As I looked into how to value a business, I was coming up with values much lower than the prices of the companies that I owned. I thought that I was doing something wrong. It began to make me nervous. As part of that boom, I made some money and lost some money, but most of all I learned.
I have continued to gain more confidence over the years. I have continued my studies of new companies. I have experienced the recession of 2007-2011 and seen how markets can truly be dislocated. If the dot.com boom taught me how high prices can get, the recession demonstrated how low they could go. Through all this, I have gained some valuable experience.
With experience, I have studied my own tendencies and how I like to invest. My primary philosophy is one of value. This is the place where I think the safest returns can be made. With this philosophy, I look for companies trading at a discount. If they are not the strongest of companies, I will look to exit as they approach their full value. If they are great companies, I want to hold them for as long as possible.
I also invest in my interests and values. Because my interests and values do not necessarily mean that the company is the strongest, I want to invest at a reasonable price. I also love to invest in great companies at reasonable prices. These are the companies that end up being undervalued because most analysts are not willing to assume that growth can continue for as long as it actually does. I think of growth as an input to value, and sometimes long-term growth is not fully appreciated.
With all this experience, I have built some semblance of a track record. I have played Motley Fool Caps for quite a while. My track record is among the best in that game. Postings from my previous blog (poeticportfolios.com, now retired) still live on at Seeking Alpha. Please check them out.
I started this blog because I want to keep track of my own investment decisions and research. I make better decisions when I document my thinking and put my thesis into words. I welcome you to share this journey with me. Please post questions and constructive comments. Hopefully, we can continue this journey together.