I am a private value investor based in Australia. My investment philosophy is grounded in the tradition of Warren Buffett and Benjamin Graham. In this blog, you will find my writings on investment ideas, investment philosophies and techniques.
This blog is intended to be 50% United States focused and 50%
Australia focused. However, opportunities, ideas and insights don't come
in such regularity. I'll try not to diverge too much from this aim. But
I really can't guarantee.
Investing is not my
profession. I have my own daytime work. My formal training is in compuer
science and I work in the software industry. I do have some
postgraduate education in business (some kind of mini-MBA, if you wish).
But I learned (and am still learning) value investing mainly through
readings (a lot of readings), reflections and, more importantly,
manage my own family's money. By any measure, I'm a small retail
investor. I see this is an edge over larger and more
sophisticated institutional investors. Given my small portfolio, my
investment universe is far bigger than theirs. I'm far more flexible. I
can stay long-term focused while institutional investors have their
institutional imperatives to minimize short-term volatility.
I have a natural
preference towards microcap companies and "net-nets". It's
not because of less competition from institutiional investors. That
may very well be true. But more importantly, microcaps have far less
moving parts and are easier to understand. In other words, I favour
simplicity over complex ideas. This also relates to my temperament. I
don't have superb attention to details. Complex situations usually call
for very high level of attention to details. If a single adjective in a
contract can make or break an investment case, there will be mistake waiting to happen.
I am not setting myself in any fix mold. I am also interested in quality businesses
with strong moats, special situations, turnarounds, etc.
Why am I writing this blog?
learned from experience keeping an investment journal is a must-do task
for a value investor. It reduces the influence of one's emotion in
decision-makings. I've actually written a private blog which I shared
with a couple of close friends. I learned that the process of preparing
an investment thesis or a reflection to be viewed by others forced me to
be more rigorous in checking my assumptions and reasonings.
Charlies Munger said "Invert, always invert". I believe one has to
continuously challenge one's own theses. I'm always in the outlook of
contrarian views, views disagreeing with mine. I'm hopeful this blog
can attract such voices.
Thirdly, I hope through this blog I can meet like-minded
investors with who I can compare notes, ideas and
experiences. Value investing is a lone act. You are swimming against
the crowd. Value investing is an intellectual exercise. You are
building theories. These are the theories you find exciting but majority of the people don't see. The line between
great insights and insanity is blur. There is this "who else
will understand me?" feeling.
Fourth, this is a two-way
street. I learned a lot in the past
years from many many great value bloggers and writers. Investing is such
an imprecise art. Both skills and luck are blended beyond recognition
in any investment result. Because of this, there are many deep-rooted
myths and misconceptions. What counts more is the process. There is this
in me to share with others the process I've learned and what I see now. I
readers can benefit from it.
I don't pretend I know everything. Investing is very much a journey of learning and reflection. It is a humbling activity.
I'd love to hear from you if you have any thoughts, suggestions or anything investing related. You can contact me at john (at) portfolio14.com.