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To Research in Motion (RIMM), that CAPS call that shows up in glaring red as my worst ever, costing me more than 100 score points all by its little lonesome, I just want to say... thank you! And for seeming, at least for now, to be reversing direction and showing some decline in stock price *after* I ended my underperform call? I want to say... Thank You Very Much!

 

I hope that 'all time worst' stays up there - and not just because it'll mean that I won't have any even bigger losers in the future. No, I hope it stays up there as a reminder.

 

You see, when I first started in CAPS, I did a little bit of coat-tail riding. Finding the best stock pickers, CAPS players, and stealing a few of their picks for my own CAPS pick list. RIMM was one such pick, pilfered from one of the best in the business, Bill Mann (known in these parts as TMFOtter). Did I know anything about RIMM? Not really. I knew they had something to do with Blackberries (and at least I knew we weren't talking fruit!), and I knew, from Bill's pitch, that they had decided to keep their technology proprietary.

 

But that's about all I knew.

 

Hey, it was Bill Mann for cryin' out loud!

 

Make no mistake, I'm not saying that Bill made a mistake on his RIMM call. He may well prove to be correct... I really have no way of knowing.

 

And *that* is the problem.

 

I made my RIMM underperform call, and watched the stock price climb, and climb, and climb, and climb. All the way up I'm thinking, "Uh oh... did I make a mistake? Did Bill make a mistake? When is the pain going to end? Should I end the pick? Not end the pick? What do I do?"

 

RIMM isn't my only poorly scoring call. I have a few other stinkers in the mix as well (which is bound to happen given that I've made a total of about 500 picks so far). The problem with RIMM was that I had no thesis... okay, well I did have a thesis, "Follow Bill", but I had no *real* thesis by which to judge the stock price climb. While an investing thesis is important to deciding which stocks to get into, I think it's equally important as a frame of reference when deciding which stocks to get out of.

 

If one of my ethanol plays scored -100 points, but nothing had really changed, I'd know what to do.

 

I'd sit on my hands and wait.

 

I'd wait because I have a thesis, and nothing I've learned, yet, has caused me to rethink that thesis. Not so with my call on RIMM.

 

I hope Bill proves to be right. First, because I think he's a great guy, a super analyst, and I wish him all of the CAPS success in the world.

 

And also because it will prove that much more of a reminder to me. I can envision looking at that 100+ point beating I took, on a call that was right all along, just because I had no clue what I was doing and was simply blindly following - rather than understanding the thesis presented and deciding, for myself, that I agreed with it.

 

So... thanks RIMM! I really mean that. You've reinforced yet another valuable investing lesson I've learned along the way. May that glaring red 'all time worst' score stay on my scorecard for some time to come.

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