Now that we are six months into the podcast, I thought I (Cameron) should jot down some thoughts about what I’ve learned over that time.
- Value Investing is not popular right now. Knowing nearly nothing about investing when we started, I didn’t realise that value investing was going through a phase of being looked down upon by many people. I remember thinking (and probably asking Tony) when we started “why isn’t everyone doing this?” Since then I’ve read a lot about why some people think value investing is dead and we’ve spoken to a number of people who are getting great returns from growth stocks. Personally, though, I’m sticking with Tony’s system. For a couple of reasons: 1) Tony’s a lot smarter and wiser than I am, especially when it comes to investing, and he’s been doing this for a long time. I’m putting my money on the fact that he still thinks value investing is the smart, long-term play. 2) I’m yet to come across anyone or any system that helps me understand which tech / growth stocks to buy with anything approaching the same kind of science Tony’s checklist offers. Maybe Tony will work something out with the experimenting he’s currently doing, but, until then, I’m more interested in sticking to what has worked for decades. Maybe the combination of low GDP growth and zero interest rates do mean it’s a brand new world, and the shares of good quality companies are no longer valuable in the market. But I’m putting my money on Tony, Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger, et al.
- Checklists are fantastic. I’m still in awe of how Tony’s checklist make it fairly simple for me to take a company’s public financials and determine whether or not it’s a buy. I honestly didn’t know much about how he used it before we started, and as I’ve understood it better, I’m stunned at how clever it is. The more time I spend with it, and the more times Tony explains it to me, the more comfortable I’m feeling with it. Give me another year and I think I might know what I’m doing. It’s lead me to start thinking of other ways to use checklists. The whole approach of breaking a complex system down into a number of independent metrics that can be measured and scored, and then rating the “quality” of a particular theory based on that score, is something I’ve been familiar with for a long time but rarely had the opportunity to put into practice like this. It reminds me a lot of Richard Carrier’s approach to using Bayes’ Theorem to understand history, something I’ve been trying to understand over the last couple of years while working on the documentary. Now I’m looking for other ways to use it, like analysing the trustworthiness of news stories.
Well that’s all I have for now. I’ve love to hear feedback from you about how you’re going with the checklist and your thoughts on value investing.