Education & Mindset
The idea for Philoinvestor started from the investment philosophy and mindset pieces that I started writing in early 2020 during the Covid lockdowns.
The lack of quality investment education was what pushed me to first start writing and subsequently launch Philoinvestor in late 2021.
The buzz words and buzz terminology, the oversimplification, the false generalisations. The dogmatic views and all the things that become risky and dangerous if they are understood only superficially. I couldn’t stand them - and every time a person mentioned them I felt an increasing need to try and educate them.
It then became clear it would be more efficient (for them and me) to start writing about these things, rather than educating people on a 1 to 1 basis every time.
In this space you will find an archive of all these mindset pieces to read and study.
I write these pieces with the intention of making them timeless and so the content you read here will always be relevant.
The first piece I wrote for (what was to be) Philoinvestor was a piece on the Efficient Market Hypothesis (EMH) and how institutional investors hijacked it and made it even less true than it was before their involvement. The idea for passive investing gained prominence on the back of the EMH.
Then I wrote a piece on real estate investing because people always came to me with the cliché, “Isn’t property always the best place to invest in?” - I had to tackle that question too.
People have a very flawed view of the stock market as it relates to risk. They think the “stock market” is one unified thing, but that notion breeds a lot of confusion.
The dimension of time has many meanings as it relates to investing in general. In this piece I aimed to explain how financial markets change gear and value assets differently. This is a reality you cannot hide from, and so better to use it to your advantage rather than get ruined from it.
There exists an idea strong in the minds of investors that equities are inherently risky, while bonds or real estate are inherently safe. This false notion has been written on the tombstone of many a failed investor. Don’t be that guy.
Drawing parallels with difficult to understand concepts is always helpful to simplify things and make them easier to grasp.
One such parallel that I would like to draw is the similarities of stock market investing to an endless game of poker.
My personal experiences made me write about the differences between money with skill and money without skill. The latter has proven to be extremely dangerous, financially.
I saw that investors were overly focused on prices and where they would go in the short-term, and not focus in the actual securities that they were investing in. Market agnosticism is the way to make a good “bet” - but without having a view as to where prices are going in the immediate.
It’s important to believe and understand that capitalism is democratic. By and large, no one can force you to take a deal that is not to your benefit. The tools are at your disposal to research, analyse and make the correct moves to benefit financially. There are no excuses.
This is a note to all passive evangelists from me. I wrote this in November 2021, two months before the peak of the last stock market cycle. The S&P 500 is down >20% since then, and passive investors are not happy.
I wrote this in October 2021, trying to explain how present-day decisions create the future for economic actors. Wrong choices create bad outcomes. You need at least some understanding of macroeconomics (and politics) to gauge future results.
And last but not least, the Rufus pieces. I created the character of Rufus, to depict the quintessential anti-investor. The investor that isn’t really an investor. You need to be learn about Rufus, so you won’t be that guy.
The first Rufus piece.
The second Rufus piece, warning about Big Tech and potential future fragilities that could issues for many of these loved Mega Cap technology stocks, and cause losses for investors. In their attempt to go for the safe bet, investors sometimes make risky bets.
And the third Rufus piece, in which I tried to explain multi-level thinking and how thinking too much on the first-level could destroy you as an investor.
I wrote about piece ~10 years ago on the business of shipping, but which can be applied to other sectors too. The piece makes the analogy of shipping as trading options.
A great track record never comes in a straight line. You need mental fortitude to get it.
It seems to me that the discipline of value investing has been highly misunderstood. So I wrote a piece to set the record straight.
Investing is easy. Staying invested is hard. You think it’s easy being an investor? Read this.
Don’t get it twisted - you want stocks to go down. This is why.
Drawing analogies between Plato’s Allegory of the Cave and the practice of investing.
You never graduate as a master-investor, the path goes on forever. True Zen never stops and that is the mindset you need to cultivate to walk that path. Here are the main skills you need to constantly work on to become that person.
Value traps are the road to investing misery. Avoid bad companies & value traps at all costs. There is a way, focus on layers that I write about in the piece below.