Thursday, May 10, 2018

Believing Your Intent

The rules, and intent, of a game have a direct impact on the decisions made. It is really difficult, and not always useful, as a person to 'pretend'. You have to actually believe the thing you are pretending is true. 

A pet peeve of mine is when someone says 'think like an owner'. My internal response is, 'I can only think like an employee trying to think like an owner'. So if you want someone to think like an owner, make them an owner. That is one of the reasons I am a fan of Universal Basic Income. If seen as a dividend on Communal Wealth, it genuinely gives everyone an inalienable ownership stake in society.

An example of the rules affecting the decisions is Investment Clubs. Someone can be told to pick a business 'with a long-term philosophy' for a 12-month game. 12 months is not a long-term. In order to win the game, you either have to smash the ball out of the park or you will lose. Over the long-term, the people who typically amass think a little like Buffett's 'concentrating on identifying one-foot hurdles that we could step over rather than ... acquiring any ability to clear seven-footers.' The person who wins the 12-month game is not necessarily the person who followed the intent.

12h 06m after starting the 89km Comrades Marathon (2016)

Endurance is a vital aspect of wealth creation. It isn't about short-term wins. It is often more about avoiding stupidity than being particularly clever. As Seth Klarman says, 'The real secret to investing is that there is no secret to investing. Every important aspect of value investing has been made available to the public many times over, beginning in 1934 with the first edition of Security Analysis.' Like eating healthily and staying fit, the challenge isn't in knowing what to do. It is in actually doing it. It is in building up the capacity not to stop doing it. That is far more about Emotional Intelligence than any particularly profound insight.

It all starts with knowing your intent. Believing your intent. Then putting that into practice.


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