Message Font: Serif | Sans-Serif
 
No. of Recommendations: 29
Here's how I look at this. I have made investing my "career" -- so it needs to work, otherwise I have to go back and get a real job. Being pragmatic about this, I have looked far and wide for how the people who were really successful at investing did it. I have to find evidence of a) a well-articulated and consistent strategy over long periods of time, b) verified excellent performance (passing auditing type scrutiny, not just making anecdotal claims), and c) performance maintained *after* the strategies were described, to eliminate hindsight bias.

This is a totally agnostic approach, and I don't believe these requirements bias the answer in any way. Actually I don't really care what the answer is, it just has to be shown by the above metrics to work for long periods of time.

I have read books by many types of investors... including on the TA side Reminiscences of a Stock Operator, a couple of the Market Wizards books, parts of one of Weinstein's books, a Van Tharp book, and a Ralph Vince book.

What I have found so far is that it appears that only value investors meet these criteria. And lots of them do. They run mutual funds and companies and many describe their approaches very generously. Some have written detailed books about their strategies (Neff, Lynch, Graham, Philip Fisher, Greenblatt, etc.) and Buffett of course through his shareholder and partnership letters. And their performance has continued after their strategies were described.

TA-based investors seem to keep their cards very close to their chests. I have not found a single one who meets the criteria above. Maybe I haven't looked enough, and I would be grateful if someone could point me to one. I have posed this question on several TMF boards related to TA and still I am at a count of zero. In other words, in the time it took me to find about 20 examples of value investors meeting my criteria, I found zero TA investors.

So to me it's pretty easy. If I'm going to stake my future livelihood on a strategy, then I want to be able to prove to myself that the strategy works. Value investing meets that requirement, and TA (to my knowledge) does not. The masters have told you all you need to know, in dozens of different styles that you can pick among. It boils down to simply "buy a good business at a bargain price." For TA I still cannot find a rigorous answer to "show me the proof." If anyone can provide that answer, I would certainly be interested in it.

-Mike
Print the post  

Announcements

What was Your Dumbest Investment?
Share it with us -- and learn from others' stories of flubs.
When Life Gives You Lemons
We all have had hardships and made poor decisions. The important thing is how we respond and grow. Read the story of a Fool who started from nothing, and looks to gain everything.
Contact Us
Contact Customer Service and other Fool departments here.
Work for Fools?
Winner of the Washingtonian great places to work, and Glassdoor #1 Company to Work For 2015! Have access to all of TMF's online and email products for FREE, and be paid for your contributions to TMF! Click the link and start your Fool career.