At the beginning of every year, many of us (myself included) resolve to eat healthy, exercise more, watch less Netflix, read more books, be more productive, etc. I always start off the year with good intentions, but within a couple of days, I’m back to my old habits. Don’t make the same mistakes with your investments. Here are some investing resolutions that we believe, if applied properly, will pay dividends for your portfolio for years to come:
1) We will remember that we are long-term investors. Long-term investors don’t buy stocks, they own companies. A long-term investor doesn’t bet on what the market will like in the short-term. What matters over the long run is the earnings and free cash that your company generates, the quality of your company’s business, the valuation you pay, and your expectation of future returns. As a long-term investor we stick with a good business as long as the key elements for success are in place.
2) We won’t beat ourselves (or our Portfolio Manager!) up over an investing mistake. Our clients know that they tend to own around 30 stocks in their portfolios. We all know it is impossible to get every stock right. Our portfolios are crafted to provide protection for our clients. If every name moved in the same direction at the same time, we wouldn’t be doing our jobs properly in diversifying our clients’ assets. When a stock is underperforming, we will make sure to double check our work and try to understand why the market isn’t in agreement with our research. We will let our research dictate what to do next.
3) We will maintain the temperament of a long-term investor. Our long-term success for clients has come from owning good companies for many years. Many of our top holdings have been in our portfolio for at least ten years. Good results don’t come from constant activity or from trying to time the markets. Good results come from letting a great business compound its value for you over time.
4) We will trust our research process. There are many smart investors out there, and it is always important to listen to opposing views, but we must remember that each person is playing a different game, and each has their own unique motivations. We are long-term investors, and we make decisions based on fundamental analysis. As David Baskin said last year (https://baskinwealth.com/latest-news/monthly-newsletter-october-2021/), “We buy using the kind of research and thinking taught in business schools and to financial analysts. We think that’s the right way to do our job, and we assume that most of our clients agree with us.”
5) We will always treat our clients the way we would like to be treated. We will never forget the golden rules of managing someone else’s money…Rule #1: Never forget it is the client’s money. Rule #2: Don’t forget Rule #1!
6) Finally, it is most rewarding to stay optimistic. Had I told you at the beginning of 2021 that interest rates would go up, inflation would rise to levels not seen in decades, the pandemic would intensify, we would have a supply chain nightmare, and labour shortages would be pervasive, you may never have believed that North American stock markets would rise by over 20% for the year. Stock markets tend to go up over time because most people wake up every day and want to better their situation. Why bet against that?
We wish everyone a healthy, happy, and prosperous new year! Stay in touch.