No. of Recommendations: 2
The journey of a thousand miles does not begin with the first step, it begins with a choice. Millions of people fear to choose to take that step because they are afraid of what is down that road; what they fear is the unknown. You have been down that road. You can write from the small, private investor’s point of view, the view of a peer.

Jack,

Such a project doesn’t interest me. Under various handles over the past dozen years, I’ve probably done 10,000 posts in this forum. Here and there, there’s maybe a memorable sentence, maybe a worthwhile insight. But I, too, am just a traveler, for the journeying never ends. I was writing for myself, and that’s how I learned my craft. How many investors keep a journal in which they do a post-mortem on every trade they make, asking what they did right and -- more importantly -- what they did wrong, so they can benefit from the lessons the market gods offered? Those who train traders say -- to a man or a woman -- they have never met a successful trader who doesn’t keep a journal. No exceptions. Not one.

If anyone truly wants to learn bond investing, the means and materials are there. What isn’t there, what most investors lack, is the determination to pursue a goal until success is met. Investors are their own worst enemy, not the markets they attempt to engage. When market success doesn’t come easily, they give up and blame everyone but themselves. Your buddy, Lokicioius, tried to put together a “recipe” version of bond-investing, and that FAQ is useless, dangerous, misleading crap, because such a step-by-step manual cannot be written in enough detail to make it useful to anyone who isn't self-aware enough that they don't need to have the details spelled out for them. "Investing can be learned, but it cannot be taught." There are too many studies proving exactly that point to doubt it.

Could I train someone to become a bond investor? Sure, and I’m doing it, my daughter, who’ll have half my portfolio dumped in her lap when I die and needs to know how to manage it. But we’re the exactly the same Meyers-Brigg type, with a long, shared history and culture, and it’s easy for me to get inside her head, and she’s tough enough, independent enough, that she’ll push back hard when I’m pushing too hard, and we both understand nothing personal is meant, that the idea is what matters, and that we’re looking at it differently.

With my son, that Hegelian heuristic doesn’t work. There’s no better partner on a trout steam in terms of easy, back-and-forth sharing. But no amount of anyone’s training will ever make him an investor. Just doesn’t have a feeling for the game, and, fortunately, doesn’t need to. Should I live long enough, and if they show interest, I’ll train my grandkids to run a bond portfolio the way it needs to be run. But no one else. Time is too short, and I’ve got too many other research projects going to write an investment manual that doesn’t need to be written. Ben Graham said enough in The Intelligent Investor to get anyone started, and the guy is nothing if not a stand-up comic of the dry, droll sort who truly understands the problems investors have dealing with risk. That’s a great book, and it doesn’t need a rewrite from me.

Charlie
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