Since working in my father’s convenience store as a little boy in Glasgow in Scotland I have always wanted to be an entrepreneur. In the first half of my professional career I worked in as a stock analyst and then progressed to be an investment manager tasking care of over $300M of pension and mutual fund money for governments, corporations and British banks.
This was not a bad start for a young man in the mid 1980’s. I even got the experience of guiding these portfolios through the very rough seas of the 1987 financial crash and through the collapse of the Berlin Wall. The world has certainly changed since then but many things have remained.
Certainly for those of us with the benefit of experience it is clear that the short term movements of the investment markets are no easier to predict now than they were then. However within this complex backdrop one learns that some aspects of the investment world are more predictable than others. As Warren Buffet has consistently demonstrated, things like sustainable cash flow and quality products and services and businesses with good forward looking management will win out in the end and those investors who can identify these types of opportunities will be at the head of the pack.
There is one caveat successful investors also have to learn ho avoid the opposite types of investments, which by definition do not have sustainable business models. You do not have to pick all the winners but even if you pick only a few of the big losers your portfolio will find it hard to fully recover from the impact of the destroyed capital.
So what is the answer? Get educated and formulate a plan for investment success using the best ideas and strategies of those who have succeeded. At the Financial Literacy Learning Centre we aim to pass on the knowledge of what to look for in your search for a suitable type and blend of investments for you own personal needs. That is why our motto is ‘Empowering Investors Through Education’.