The Making of a Value Investor: The Unexpected Lesson I learned in University, Why I Like Pirates, and a Bit About My Grade 5 Submarine Project
It is extraordinary to me that the idea of buying dollar bills for 40 cents takes immediately with people or it doesn't take at all. It's like an inoculation. If it doesn't grab a person right away, I find you can talk to him for years and show him records, and it doesn't make any difference.
- Warren Buffett
I was one of those for whom the idea of value investing resonated right away. I found the concepts provided me with a way of ordering an otherwise chaotic market world.
But my particular approach to business and to investing was shaped by things that started long before I became involved in the financial markets, and long before I discovered the value investing philosophy and mind set.
In Grade 5 I did my first real "project" - on the history of submarines - complete with bristol board illustrations. I found that I liked the rhythm of the "project", the all out and focused effort for a fixed period of time, and then once complete and handed in, the ability to rest and recover waiting for that grade and then ruminating on the success (or failure) of the project at hand.
Now I try to run my business and investing activities according to something developed directly from this experience, something I like to call, The Project Oriented Life. It fits with the natural ebb and flow of energy, and it fits with my personality. It involves complete focus and effort on a project, an investment, a new business initiative, and the seeing of this "project" through to completion, or launch (another version of completion) and then rest (generally away from the office) and rumination on the project just completed, and the gradual recovery of energy and creativity, and the launch of the next "project".
Other lessons came from my enjoyment of reading history, a great place to learn and gather experience from the col