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I Like Investing

Jul. 10, 2020 12:57 PM ET10 Comments
Larry Hall profile picture
Larry Hall's Blog
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  • Investing is Fun.
  • Investing is a group activity.
  • We can absorb wisdom from others while plotting riches.
  • Buy, laugh and invest is my new philosophy.

I like investing. I did not used to enjoy even thinking about the stock market. I considered it the abode of number-crunching geeks with little else to occupy their time. Then I became one of them and my attitude changed! Funny how that works..

Investing is fun. Here are some ways to have fun while investing:

* Study economic trends;

* Study market performance and history;

* Research individual stocks and the sectors in which they dwell;

* Exchange ideas with other investors and financial web-site dwellers.

Why are economics important? Well, economics and economies are the waters in which companies and stocks swim. Many people think that economics is a dull pursuit mostly about adding and comparing numbers. Not true! Economics is a discipline with different factors and levels - macro and micro, monetary and fiscal. And studying companies is a subset of the discipline, because you get to examine company histories, performance, business plans, potential bullish propositions, metrics and associated risks. I don't find any of that boring.

After all, we as investors do this research with an aim in mind. And that aim is to select potential buys in our stock investment portfolios. I find that compelling and nearly exciting (if in a low-key way). 

What else? Learning about companies from different angles is not only interesting, but doing so systematically is like peeling an onion or apple. Soon enough, you reach the core, and develop an integrated picture of the parts. Which is enough to either make an informed investment decision or decide that a particular company is too complex to create a basis for an investing decision. (I think Charlie Munger calls this his 'too-hard' pile.)

The sector study aspect is also interesting. Why? Because sectors are like species or similar species, full of companies that are doing similar things and fulfilling a purpose within the economy by building and selling products to a public that wants those products. By increasing our sector knowledge, we can then 'reinvest' that knowledge in more facile study of individual companies. 

Exchanging ideas with other investors and talk backers is really a positive thing, if 'occasionally' aggravating because of the tendency of discourse to deteriorate on the Internet. There is a great reservoir of smart people in the investing community - as in others. By connecting with this pool we gain knowledge and also stimulate ourselves into thinking about companies and markets that we might not do in our own 'cells.' And, sometimes we even make new friends.

I like investing. I think I'll continue. I don't really have a choice if I want to try and attain a reasonable retirement. I am never going to be rich and might not even attain true financial affluence, but is it possible to enjoy the journey?

Yes. And if not now, when?

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