I accept long periods of underperformance to achieve maximum lifetime results. To be able to accomplish this without caving to the bandwagon, I accept a good deal of humility--- and equally important--- a logical and battle-tested investment philosophy. If you are going to lend a business money (i.e. buy the bond or issue a loan), you'd have to have a good sense of their short and long-term business risk.... and demand a fair yield in consideration of this company's unique credit risks and general interest rates. If you are going to buy that company's stock, you might as well consider the above fair yield and a premium for taking on additional risk in owning stock. That is my discount rate for an individual business. I look for bargains that tell me I'm getting a deal significantly better than this discount rate.