Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Philosophy of Investing

What exactly is my philosophy of investing?

Almost everyone who is a professional investor has a philosophy. Some swear by technical analysis, while many swear by fundamental analysis. Some are growth investors, others are value investors, and still others are momentum investors. What is intriguing is that the different classes of investors often do not see eye to eye. Technical analysts think fundamental analysts are bullshitting while fundamental analysts think technical analysis is a joke. Value investors think growth and momentum investors are gamblers. Growth investors argue value investors are Buffets wannabes who often get stuck in value traps.

Where am I?

I think something is true about all the approaches. However, at a particular point of time, one philosphy is more true than others. My philosophy is to figure out which philosophy is the truest of all at any point of time with respect to any particular security or the entire market.

My target is to have a 20% return each year with minimal risk. I do not define risk in terms of volatility of the portfolio. Rather, I define risk as the ratio of the number of days when I have negative returns versus number of days I have positive returns, weighted by the daily returns.

I dont care whether that 20% return comes from fundamental investing, momentum investing, technical charting, or what not. What I care is the following.

A) Will the security give me 20% annualized return.
B) Under which philosophy am I investing in the security.
C) If I am wrong, I should NOT switch to any other philosophy to justify my purchase.

How did I come up with 20% benchmark. Well, Buffet has compounded the book value of Berkshire Hathway at 21% over the last 40 years. If I do 20%, it is great.

No comments: