The great UCLA Men's College Basketball coach John Wooden had a very important quote: "Failing to prepare is preparing to fail." So many investors in almost every asset class simply do not prepare before investing their hard earned money. I have been as guilty as anybody. During my first attempt at investing, I spent 5,000 bucks on buying stock in Starbucks, 2,500 on America On Line, and 2,500 on a company called Ultrafem. It was 1993 or so and I spent a ton of gas driving up and down Southern California looking at Starbucks locations- I still own it, and have added plenty more, and yes, it has done well. America On Line at one point was a 41 bagger, but I sold too late, but still did well. However, Ultrafem was an alternative to women's tampons, the management were crooks, and you could see from one quarter's results they were a mess. I had yet to learn enough about reading annual reports, 10-Q's, 8-K's, insider trades, and other due diligence methods, but it worked out ok.
Still, whether it is stocks, bonds, currencies, real estate, commodities, venture capital, or anything involved with risking your funds, look before you leap, and look very hard. No is a good word with investing. No, no, no, no, no. The great Peter Lynch used to say you have to turn over a lot of rocks before you find a possible opportunity. With currencies, maybe look at the current trade account (deficit or sirplus), interest rate differentials, inflation differentials, fiscal sirplus or deficit, and political environment. You might even make a check list of what to look at before you spend your money. Don't forget Wooden's quote as he won 11 NCAA championships in 13 years for a reason.
The Jeremy Lin story just gets better and better, which is really awesome- take a look at this from Techcrunch on Siezing the Moment:http://techcrunch.com/2012/02/18/seize-your-opportunities-like-jeremy-lin/
Interesting business model emerges on lending your car to strangers for cash:http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/19/technology/car-sharing-companies-link-owners-with-renters.html?_r=1&ref=business
What a mess with Steve Wynn as all the dirty laundry comes out:http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203358704577233052477385494.html?mod=WSJ_hp_LEFTWhatsNewsCollection
It will be another interesting week on wall street as the Greece drama continues to unfold. Three years into this and the politicians still cannot make any decisions. Does anyone wonder why Europe has such competitive issues? Many believe Germany will call the shots there for a long time, but they also benefit from a weak Euro as their exports continue to gain share. A stronger currency does not help them at all.
Politically, all eyes are on Michigan as it may be that the Gettysburgh of this election is in Romney's home state. I still think he is the best candidate, but the hard line republicans just don't want any part of him. If Santorum or Gingrich is the nominee, Obama might win 45 states and cruise by 30 points. At least Romney gives the party a fighting chance, but if he loses, he just takes his 200 million with him and says good luck. I hope everyone has a great week and if you have any questions, comments, or thoughts on the blog post, please share them!!
As always, on any company mentioned here, past performance is not a guarantee of future returns. Investing involves risk of losses on invested capital. One should research any investment and make sure it is suitable with your objectives, risk tolerance, risk profile liquidity considerations, tax situation, and anything else pertinent to your financial situation. Also, the CFA credential in no way implies investment returns will be superior for any charterholder.
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