I admire the intellectual honesty of Guy Spier, author of The Education of a value investor. He practices what I would describe as low stress, minimal decision making, low turnover value investing from the Alps.

In his talk at Google he mentions simple but powerful rules he adheres to.

This is the list with my favorites in bold and great open questions in italic.

  1. Stop checking the stock price
  2. If someone tries to sell you something – don’t buy it
  3. Don’t talk to management
  4. Gather Investment Research in the right order
  5. Never buy or sell stocks when the market is open
  6. If a stock tumbles after you buy it, don’t sell it for two years
  7. Don’t talk about your current investments

TC comments

  1. Classic one: remove the noise, focus on signal
  2. Simple but very powerful: I use it in investing, life. In investing, I think this can be extended to shunning stocks that appear very often in the media,  battlefield stocks that lure you to take a stance etc. Attention breeds efficiency in general
  3. Obviously controversial. In any case, while talking to management one should always be acutely aware that CEO’s self-select for salesmanship and a great salesman doesn’t appear to sell something. I think most takeaways from management are more meta-knowledge (traits such as candidness, rationalism)
  4. I think this is a very powerful rule. I interpret this as “don’t change or make any decisions on trading while the market is open” because you’d most probably be using the availability bias against yourself looking at noise
  5. Don’t know if this is a good heuristic
  6. I guess that talking and summarizing your investment thesis makes you fall in love more with a stock. This rule is an interesting one. I interpret “talking” as broadcasting investment theses to random people/clients without a specific aim to get valuable thoughts or feedback. This would be a rule I consider using, given I update my investment thesis by writing it down.

 

I am really sorry, I will be unable to buy your product because you are selling it to me. – Guy Spier informing cold caller about rule number two