I received this email from a reader recently-
Boss, I’d prefer to read actionable articles on what stocks you like, and what trends you are seeing in the markets, etc. and not these crappy “how to think and invest better” articles. ~ AJ
And then this slightly more respectable one –
Your posts are like sermons. Please write about your stock picks, your predictions, and how sectors and markets are likely to perform in the future. ~ MK
Well, over time, I have become so kind that I have stopped replying to “actionable” emails like these, which lie lost among 36,236 unread emails in my inbox.
Life is tough, you see!
But if I were to shell out a blanket reply to such emails and suggestions for writing actionable, current, stock specific, market specific posts, here it is –
My dear friend,
Thanks for your feedback and suggestion, and sorry to note that you are not finding my posts relevant.
But please note that’s purely by design.
I have consciously thought about the kind of posts I want to avoid writing – exactly the types you want me to write.
But answering why I write what I write would be difficult because, for me, this question is as profound as the questions – why are we born, why do we fall in love, why do we die?
If I pretended I could answer any of these questions well, I’d be fooling myself.
As George Orwell wrote – “All writers are vain, selfish, and lazy, and at the very bottom of their motives there lies a mystery. Writing…is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand. For all one knows that demon is simply the same instinct that makes a baby squall for attention.”
Anyways, for your sake, I will still venture out once, and maybe looking like a fool, to try and clarify my position on why I write what I write.
You see, as lazy and selfish as I am, I would like to see my writing endure well over time. I would be happy to see what I write being just as effective thirty years from now as it may be today, just as helpful to someone starting investing in 2040 as to someone investing in 2020.
You may find nothing actionable in my writing, but hopefully it leaves you with something to think about.
Good investing, after all, is 99% good thinking and just 1% good acting. And 99% is where I wish you and myself to be.
Hope that helps.
Thanks for reading!
Well, if you are still reading this, here are the best things I read and thought about today –
- How to Talk to Your Friend About Picking Stocks (The Irrelevant Investor)
- How Four Americans Robbed the Bank of England (Longreads)
- Warren Buffett’s writeups on stocks (Brian Langis)
- The Future of Higher Education: Dr. Sanjay Gupta (CNN)
- [Podcast] Jeremy Grantham – An Uncertain Crisis (Investor’s Field Guide)
- Thought for today – “In our decision-making lives, we aren’t that good at taking this kind of perspective – at accessing the past and future to get a better view of how any given moment might fit into the scope of time. It just feels how it feels in the moment and we react to it … We make a long-term stock investment because we want it to appreciate over years or decades. Yet there we are, watching a downward tick over a few minutes, consumed by imagining the worst. What’s the volume? Is it heavier than usual? Better check the news stories. Better check the message boards to find out what rumors are circulating.” ~ Annie Duke, Thinking in Bets
That’s about it from me for today.