Saturday, January 08, 2011

Why I Turned to Value Investing

This is a follow-up post to the one below called, Tongue in Socket.

Recently I was talking with Steve, my psychologist /trader friend who had an epiphany when seeing one of his teenage clients. He wrote the following:

"I was working hard yesterday to solve a clinical puzzle...redoing the data, my conclusions and then, after much discussion and thought, I came to the conclusion that, differences aside, your whole generation is very vulnerable / at risk... [where we'll] probably get more leadership positions going to Indian's and Chinese (which I think is a good thing)....I realized that without an individual assessment, each child/teen I saw wasn't so much suffering from neurosis as needing to be rescued from going over the falls. And they don't know it. They think they're doing great, which makes treatment a tough sell, because the parents believe it too! Then I realized, "hey wait, didn't Charlie repeatedly tell me this is the 'loser generation.' Why keep doing psych analysis when I should just accept the sociological perception Charlie has already done and stop suffering over each situation. Also, as one of my patients hauls-ass, I realize that more than solving neurosis, she/he is being saved from the Loser Generation."

Of course, I was flattered, which is why I'm also sharing it. In response I opened up a little bit about myself:

"I think on a subconscious level it helps explain my general antisocial tendencies. Spend 3 years at my middle school, 4 years at my high school, spending most lunches trying to figure out why I prefer eating by myself and I've had enough of my generation (obviously with a few exceptions). After a few years you reach the conclusion either I'm the loser or everyone else is.

This also helps explain my attraction to value investing at an early age. As a kid I said, wow these Buffett and Munger guys sure don't seem like losers. Not only that, but I can get rich betting against the crowd!

It was a perfect fit for an insecure Jewish boy who didn't fit in and desperately didn't want to be a loser.

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