The below is a personal reflection after reading the book Mastery and does not mean I am a master. I am far from being a master in investing. It documents how I can become better in investing.
Mastery is the secret to greatness in a field. Mastery is a function of time, intense focus and relationship through mentors. “Every activity of man is amazingly complicated, not only that of the genius but none is a miracle” – Friedrich Nietzsche.
The first part of Mastery is dedicated for us to discover our true calling. We possess the unlimited potential but yet we fail to fully utilise our potential. I feel that till this age, I have yet to fully harness my talent. In order to answer to our true calling, I believe you need to listen to your inner self. Your inner self will tell you how much you love this. If you are passionate about this, you can eat and breath every seconds doing the same thing over and over again without fail, I will think this is your calling. For me personally, I am passionate about investing in equities. Investing in equities is owning a part of a company.
I have visceral reactions related to it, I am ever curious about investing. I want to learn more about investing, I want to understand how it works and how I can be a better investor. I have this tremendous hunger about investing, I have bought a library of books on investing and engross in reading them. I feel alive when I am looking at financial reports, I enjoy studying about the different industries, business strategies and management. When I find an interesting company, I will feel intrigued to dig deeper to see what competitive advantage the company has. I have been doing this every single free evening after work and on weekends as well. It is a journey for me.
I constantly remind me to avoid the false path which is to chase money, fame and glory. Investing is to grow your retirement sum, yes it is about money but the more important aspect is the process and strategies to invest. To me, it is a very fun game, money is just the by product of the process.
Through the process, I realise my personal weakness through investing process, it helps me to see myself clearer. I am too rash in making investment decision and not patient enough. Through understanding my weakness, I aim to act on them and try to improve my investment skills.
In order to achieve mastery, I need to undertake apprenticeship to become better than yesterday me. There are a few steps to undertake. Firstly I need to practice deep observation, I do not need to impress anyone. I just need to stay humble. Furthermore, I need to work on acquiring more investment skills. Natural learning is through observing and imitating what fund managers are doing. I can learn from reading investment books. I can watch investment videos to learn from them. After acquiring the knowledge, I need to put them to practice and this involves experimentation. Investing is through trial and error to test your investment theory. It is through mistakes then I can learn from them to sharpen my skills.
I have planned a few strategies for apprenticeship. I value learning over money, it gives me the satisfaction to grow. I have a child like attitude towards learning, I am like a blank piece of paper, trying to absorb all the knowledge. I trust the process by believe in failure and negative emotions are part of the process. Losing money has more emotional impact than winning money. I made a lot of stupid and careless mistakes which are painful, especially when you need to cut loss by selling the stocks, seeing money disappear into thin air. However, I have grown numb to losing money and realise this is part of the process. I have moved towards resistance and pain, trying to overcome my personal challenges. I will rather try then wait for the perfect timing. Through courage and venturesome, I have learnt alot about investing (more than yesterday’s knowledge) and about myself.
I believe in finding a mentor to speed up my learning curve, if I do it by myself, I will take 10 years. Whereas if I have a mentor, I will take 5 years of less. Life is too short and our energy after work is limited. I admit learning through books, practice and occasional advice is time consuming. I (used to) have a mentor and the emotional relationship with mentor is crucial. The mentor needs to feel emotionally invested in progress and in return need to be useful to the mentor. In order to get a mentor interested, need to see things through his eyes. However, my mentor has moved on and he wants to start his own hedge fund. Until I invest in his hedge fund as an investor, he feels that our interest is no longer aligned and he will not advise anymore. There is a time when you need to part with your mentor and spread your wings. The time is now.
I am still exploring to seek a higher goal of helping others to achieve financial freedom as well through investing. I need to hold various investing paradoxes as well and feel that it is ok when I have doubts and uncertainty about my investment strategies. I need to change some of my perspective and look what is missing in the entire equation.
A brand new year is coming and I am turning 36, the feeling that I have endless time to complete my life calling has an insidious and debilitating effect on my mind. I need to create a sense of urgency, it is fight or DIE. I need to step on the next gear and pressurize myself to grow and breakthrough in terms of my investment skill to achieve Mastery.