The Stoic Investor

My Journey to Becoming an Enlightened Investor

Month: January, 2012

What’s in a name?

The Stoic Investor was born out of my love for philosophy and an interest in investing.  My interest in stoic philosophy was piqued with the reading of A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy by William Irvine.  Further study of stoicism seemed to reveal a potential application to the realm of investment activity especially as it concerns the emotional response to that activity.

In the various articles and books I’ve read, I’m continually surprised by the following theme: investors lose out on market return due to their own behavior.  The field of behavior finance is a growing and intriguing area of study as we learn that a large number of investor are anything but rational when it comes to their investments.  It is troubling yet hopeful that so many could earn higher returns by doing nothing more than getting out of their own way.

Here is where stoicism comes in.  What if you could endure both exhilarating highs and stomach churning lows of market activity in stride?  What if seeing a 20% rise or fall in your portfolio value had no impact on your emotional wellbeing?  Over time what would having no emotional response to investment news have on the value of your portfolio?  Perhaps this requires an emotional detachment not inherent to everyone’s emotional constitution.  However, I believe that learning to limit your emotional response to investing can lead to rewards equally if not greater than those gained by learning to read financial statements, model a stock price or studying industry trends.

Here’s to you and your path to becoming more of a stoic investor in your own right.

Welcome

The Stoic Investor is an attempt to chronicle and share my journey from excessive consumerism to fledgling capitalist.  This journey began just over a year ago in December of 2010, ending what had been twenty years of a non-saving debt ridden lifestyle.

Many changes occurred throughout 2011 making it the best year of my financial life.  It would also be the year I began the journey towards becoming an investor.  I was fortunate to stumble across several personal finance and investing blogs that kept me focused and ignited my curiosity.  Perhaps it was the positive experience of interacting with those blogs that my own desire to create a blog was born.  The sharing of ideas between author and reader is a powerful occurrence that leave both with a better understanding of their own beliefs and experiences.

The topics contained here will deal with my development as an investor.  Personal finance, investment style and current economic events will also be considered as they arise.  I will cover my investment strategy and actual trades as well as covering the success and failures of choices made with the intent of learning from the actual experience of acting while having imperfect knowledge.  I don’t have all the answers.  My way is not the way merely a way.

I hope you will join the discussion when you have a thought that seems pertinent to the topic,  although I must confess that I will be the richer for this exchange.

M.

 

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