A good investor needs to possess some qualities. A lot of these are 'in-built', others can be learnt.
In this post, an effort has been made to compare certain qualities of a good investor with those possessed by various members of the animal kingdom!! (If you think I am going bonkers, I wouldn't blame you! But still, do read on.)
Please note that:
- All investors may not possess all the qualities mentioned and honestly, its not necessary too.
- What is most important is that the investor displays the right quality at the right time. (not all the time)
- Some of the qualities mentioned are mutually exclusive.
- Please don't take everything in this post 'literally'.
In investing too, sometimes, we need to lose our tail. (not literally of course!). E.g. When we realise that buying a particular stock was a wrong decision and its now quoting at a small loss, we should sell it off immediately without waiting for it to come 'cost-to-cost'. A small loss due to an incorrect decision is perfectly acceptable than losing a big chunk and peace of mind.
Hyena - Opportunistic
Similarly, in investing, one should be on the prowl for opportunities where the risk-reward ratio is in one's favour. Special situations (mergers, demergers, acquisitions, takeovers, slump-sale, etc), rights issues and warrants are prime opportunities available for opportunistic investors and decent money can be intelligently made in them. One needs to keep one's eyes and ears open for such opportunities always.
Cat - Curiosity
I believe that an investor also should be just as curious. Curious with regard to companies, their products, the nitty-gritties involved. Curious with regard to learning new stuff, appreciating new techniques and always wanting more. The day one's curiosity ends is the day learning stops. And in investing, one should continue to learn all the time. So a big MEOW to all..
Sheep - Humility
Crab Spider - Patience
Now thats patience. Waiting and waiting for the right opportunity to come by. Today, patience is totally lacking in the overall investment community. The definition of 'long term' has become very flexible. In such a scenario, one cannot help but admire the Spider Crab! :-)
Black Panther - Solitude
Anyways, relating this to investing, as my good friend Dnyanesh says 'investing is a lonely profession'. I completely agree (although loneliness and solitude are vastly different concepts). As individuals, we are different in all respects. Our investment ideas and processes are equally different. Our decisions are also, in a way, unique. Getting together in groups and discussing investments will only lead to confirmatory biases taking over. Buffett has also strongly advocated the limited use of committee-style investing for getting extra-ordinary returns. Taking cue from the black panther, one should 'hunt' alone. (Also, the idea of the lone hunter/lone ranger sounds so Hollywoodishly cool!)
Dolphin - Have Fun
Similarly, if one is not having fun in one's work, that work is not worth doing, imho. Investing is tremendous fun. (at least I think so) So enjoy, have a good time and make good money. If your investing activity is synonymous with ulcers, blood pressure, tension and sleepless nights, believe me, its just not worth it. Having fun will make you a better investor and a better human. :-)
Well, there you have it. Some of the key qualities of good investors that one can observe in nature. (I am not at all claiming that the above list is exhaustive).
I love to co-relate multiple disciplines and different streams of study and knowledge with investing. It gives one a fresh approach and perspective. If you also liked what you just read (hope you are still awake), then do read this book. Its mind-blowing and a trillion times better than what you just read.
Would love to hear your comments..
Cheers and happy hunting!!!