Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The 10 Commandments of Intelligent Investing

In Chapter 9 of Joe Ponzio's new book entitled "F Wall Street: Joe Ponzio's No-Nonsense Approach to Value Investing For the Rest of Us" he says "If intelligent investing were a religion, these would be its commandments".

1. Never invest in anything you do not understand.

2. Price follows value over the long run.

3. Price volatility does not imply any additional risk or reduced risk; the risk is in the price you pay and your evaluation of the opportunity.

4. The stock market is a place to buy and sell businesses, regardless of the myriad of other (or faster) ways to make or lose money in stocks.

5. There is no tomorrow, only "five years from now".

6. Earnings are for the IRS and accountants; business owners and silent partners (e.g. investors) rely on cash.

7. A great business is one that will survive the bad times, so wait for the bad times to invest in great businesses.

8. Unless it affects the business of your company or it's filed with the SEC, it's just noise. Analyst opinions and general market trends do not affect the business of your company and are not filed with the SEC.

9. He who turns over the most rocks wins.

10. If you don't have a margin of safety, you don't have a good opportunity.

These are some pretty insightful commandments and we would all do well to follow them.