Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Survey Help Please and Benjamin Graham on Investing

As I continue on my quest for self knowledge, I thought I would get input. I want to see how others' see me. The value I add is what it is to others.

For example, if I think I am the best orator in the world but if the audience are bored stiff, then it is foolish for me to be an orator.

So, I really would appreciate it if you could take a moment to do the following survey about me:

Survey about Jim Estill.

I took the weekend off and was a tourist in Boston. Everything is old and they are proud of it. Every shop, pub and church said "Boston's first pub", "The oldest shop in America", "The last standing building of this architecture", "The friendliest service in Boston", etc. I am thinking of opening a business with a sign "Not real old, pretty good service, similar to many other shops here".

I read a compilation of articles made into a book "Benjamin Graham on investing". Graham is the value investing ideology the Warren Buffet follows. Buffet worked for Graham for a couple of years. "If you buy shares in a company you are an owner so only buy shares of a company you want to own".

One problem with articles is they are topical at the time but the companies referenced are no longer in business in most cases. So no hot stock tips (and of course the basis of value investing is there is no such thing as a stock tip).

What is interesting is to see the methods he uses. Most of it is common sense. But then again, common sense is not that common.

He placed a high emphasis on the balance sheet and the numbers. Although he does not ignore the fundamentals of what the business does, he does not spend as much time as I do in trying to vision the future. The other factor that seemed weak was the attention to management and entrepreneurial creativity within the companies he analysed.

It was interesting to see that Graham owned majority control of Geico at one point and now Buffet owns it.

One possibility for me now would to just become an investor. But this seem dry to me and I do not think I would make my greatest contribution by just investing.


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