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Can You Sum Up Your Investing Philosophy in 10 Words?

Life is short, and thus brevity is beautiful.

Allen Saunders understood this when he defined life in just about than ten words – “Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans.”

When Mahatma Gandhi was asked how an individual can change the world, he said in ten words – “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

Our own Benjamin Graham distilled the secret of sound investment into just three words – “Margin of safety.”

I remembered these quotes from Saunders, Gandhi, and Graham when my daughter challenged me to summarize “truth” in no more than 10 words.

I replied, “Be exactly who you say you are.”

Anyways, this gave me an idea for this post. This is also what led me to this post from Jason Zweig where he asked his readers to sum up their investing philosophies in less than 10 words.

So, today, I put forth this challenge to you – Sum up your investing philosophy in 10 words or less, and share in the Comments section of this post.

Simply put, your investing philosophy is the overall set of principles or strategies that guide you as an investor.

Write down the same in 10 words or less in the Comments section below.

Please do not use quotes from leading investors to frame your philosophy. It should be your “personal” investing philosophy – what you follow in your own investment life. So please be original, and honest. 🙂

I took up my own challenge and framed my personal 10-word investing philosophy, which reads – “Do the best. Expect the worst. Keep learning. Keep going.”

This is the concise version of the five most important things I practice in my investing life –

  1. Hard work;
  2. Margin of safety;
  3. Read, read read;
  4. Learn from my own and others’ mistakes; and
  5. Patience and perseverance.

Anyways, I also asked this question to Prof. Sanjay Bakshi, and he spelled his investing philosophy in just three words – “Own undervalued Moats.”

And here is the investing philosophy of Rohit Chauhan“Buy undervalued companies with a catalyst.”

Now, it’s your turn.

Sum up your investing philosophy in 10 words or less and share in the Comments section below.

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About the Author

Vishal Khandelwal is the founder of Safal Niveshak. He works with small investors to help them become smart and independent in their stock market investing decisions. He is a SEBI registered Research Analyst. Connect with Vishal on Twitter.


  1. Gaurav Akash says:

    I am not an investor ….well not yet. Naturally I can’t come up with something worth mentioning within 10 words. But I feel in the quote “Do the best. Expect the worst. Keep learning. Keep going.” expect the worst has a negative connotation…can we replace “expect” with “prepared for” in that quotation…just a thought 🙂

    Gaurav Akash

  2. Vaibhav Chugh says:

    Set goal, invest and then expect need not greed

  3. Not an original one…but couldn’t resist sharing it 🙂

    Remember God in Good Times & Equities in Bad Times.

  4. I think i read this one in your blog Vishal. I keep reminding myself this one.

    Capital protection is more important than capital appreciation.

  5. Buy scalable moats at attractive prices and sit on it.

  6. Manoj Dureja says:

    Prepare hard, act, learn, improvise and never give up.

  7. Own undervalued moats and practice “Sit on your ass” investing. =D

  8. Akhilesh Pathak says:

    Dear Vishal and Tribesmen,

    My philosophy in Life and Investing are same….All Investing is Intelligent if its more like Life- It Evolves !!

    “Read, Asses intelligently, Learn, Apply, Have Patience, Share, Live Happily.”

    Read books/articles/annual reports, Assess the business, value, management, scalability, growth, pros and cons, past, present and future, evaluate intelligently, Learn form masters, Behavioral biases your own mistakes, apply those principles in your investments, understand the role of action and inaction in the investing at appropriate times, Wait for right moments, right opportunities and right returns..Share the joy/reward/returns with family, friends and whosoever you can help in need ( return on this investing activity is far far greater than any of the other processes)…and Live Life happily, making others happy in the process 🙂

    Warm regards


  9. identify stks. buy on dips,10 % rise, sell.may keep some.

  10. Santosh Salunkhe says:

    Hi Vishal,

    “Being financially free”

  11. Nagendra says:

    Buy simple,understandable,good managed businesses and sit tight

  12. Umang Joshi says:

    “I think returns are directly proportional to increasing waistline and decreasing hairline… Buy and get old”

  13. Follow simple/sensible rules and stick with them(discipline)

  14. Just want slightly more than the debt returns.

  15. Kohinoor Roy says:

    Its obvious……. pay lesser [ not less ], receive more.

  16. Start with low exposure, add to winners, sell losers.

    We come accross different ideas, after evaluating if I like an idea I invest in it with lower weightage. Over time if the performance is good weightage is increased and bad performers are culled out. Has worked for me.

  17. Premal Sanghavi says:

    Make Risk Managment your second wife

  18. bharat shah says:

    perhaps someone suggested;

    keep it simple stupid!

  19. Quality Quality Quality @ Reasonable Price.

  20. Rahul Chauhan says:

    Create an Investing Style (Process), follow it, modify it (if required) & sit tight.

  21. Think and value the stock like a owner,buy at fair price and enjoy the wealth.

  22. Own Quality Stocks / Index with Big Patience; it Pays.

  23. Learn from your mistakes

  24. Swaminathan Kumaran says:

    Keep it simple, own quality and have patience – no greed.

  25. Can buy @ my price with MOS, in 15 months

  26. Pramod Dwivedi says:

    Buying at what its worth at not what it will be!!

    But I also would like to share a borrowed one which has moved me and changed me by Peter F. Drucker

    ” We don’t know what we don’t know and worst we don’t know that we don’t know”

  27. Reni George says:

    Live life and Invest the way you want to…..

  28. Akshay Jain says:

    Look for gold in the dustbin

  29. Arun Prakash Singh says:

    Read, develop insight. Pick your spots. Avoid noise and hyperactivity.

  30. Let brain do the screening, and heart do the selecting.

  31. R K Chandrashekar says:

    Power of compounding on businesses with 3 M’s- Moat, Market Leadership and Management .
    On the Financial metrics- ROE, Cash on balance sheet and Dividend payout.
    Compounding and Dividends are a winning formula:
    Compounding means- Long term Capital Gains- No Tax
    Dividends——Tax Free
    Simplify your life and live peacefully
    Remember and help the have not’s as the saying goes” I cried as i did not have shoes, till i found a man without feet”

  32. Proper Allocation, Buy near Low, Understandable business, Clone….

  33. Think like pessimist, hope like optimist & act real.

  34. “Always Buy Rupee with 50% paise”

  35. Buy value, sell euphoria.

  36. Hemang Shah says:

    Keep it Simple; Keep it Concentrated; Prepare to get LUCKY:-)

  37. Buy great businesses within [Circle of Competence], < intrinsic worth & let it compound.

  38. Bhupesh Das says:

    Don’t be emotional buy rational

  39. Rohan Advant says:

    “Buy when sustainable cash cow businesses are facing solvable problems”

  40. Investing = Knowledge + patience + acceptance + boond-boond

    – Knowledge: about the company, business and sector
    – Patience: to wait (and wait) till the opportunity is right
    – Acceptance: that I can do a mistake and that I did it
    – Boond-Boond: Invest in stocks in parts-and-pieces, one piece a month – every month (equivalent of SIP/MIP)

    Note: Do NOT misunderstand my reference of Knowledge with education, analysis (fundamental /

  41. Truly imitate Buffett and Munger (when it comes to investing)!

  42. Nishanth says:


  43. Vikas Dhanuka says:

    Scalable Moat Business having Reasonable Price & Great ROE

  44. Sanjay Srivastava says:

    Start immediately. Study. Pay for knowledge. Build portfolio. Invest actively.

  45. Kishore Mulay says:

    Invest only when you understand the best.

  46. K.Navin kumar says:

    Read a lot, analyze the interesting, invest in the best

  47. satheesh says:

    “do what your mind says than others”

  48. Approximately valuing a simple business and buying with adequate margin of safety.

  49. “Quality and frugality of my life should reflect in stocks.”

  50. Harsh Thaker says:

    The goal of investing is to compound money

  51. jigar shah says:

    “Moat with Growth at Reasonable Price”

  52. Rahul Kashyap says:

    Get rich, quickly.

  53. Kiran Kumar says:

    Investing is like betting in a derby, though there are occasional losses the best horse always comes out as the winner when averaged over a long period of time. So identify good companies, invest regularly and wait patiently.

  54. Think long term, setup goals, simplify and enjoy.

  55. Don’t loose money

  56. Saimanohar says:

    Study to identify growth stories. Do not get exulted if it goes up. Do not get depressed if the stock goes down. Have a boring Betty attitude in long termers.Subside your emotions as much as you can.

  57. चंद्रसिंग says:

    “Invest for long terms, enjoy good dividends when you retire!”

  58. peeyush garg says:

    Hi ,
    Thanks for focing me to think about my own philosophy. Here it is.
    1. Spiritually keep an eye on Previous Growth , Cash flows ,Growth prospects(moats),valuations,quality of brand,quality of management of ur stocks. Give them strong weightage in portfolio.
    2. U are alone and only responsible for ur decisions.
    3. Never compromise ur own principle.respect/follow ur principle in bad times/good times. (Its very difficult)
    4. Buy stocks as u buy Groceries and not as you buy cent.
    5. Create ur investment principles with Secondary brain (and not from primary (temptative) brain.
    6. Have patience for right time (as per your principles)
    7. Believe that life and stock market is like OSCILATOR. Hence good time and bad time are like day and night.
    8. Always be prepared for worst, and be prepared with fall back plan (if market is going to crash 60% in next 1 Year).
    9. Be lazy.. Just keep ur stocks in observation. Dont be biased for ur stocks.If u study too much ur own stocks , u become biased for them.
    10. Most important: have humility. be ready to accept ur mistakes. Be humble.

  59. Subhodeep Mukhopadhyay says:

    Make money. Don’t lose money.

  60. my philosophy of investing is:
    (originally from Buffett)

  61. Identify which sector has BAD NEWS, then research & invest in a company which has the potential to withstand the crisis for 2 or 3 years.

  62. Earn, Have Financial Goal and Financial Plan, Save, Invest Systematically, Stick to Asset Allocation, Book Profits at times of euphoria and Re-invest at times of fear!


  63. Start Early. Die Late. Keep Reading.

  64. ‘I buy stocks in uptrends and manage risk.’


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