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Don't Invest in Religion

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November 01, 2013 – Comments (1) | RELATED TICKERS: AMZN

Board: Value Hounds

Author: ChanceEldrDancer

From what I know about the DG approach, I do not like it. I think AMZN (one of his key winners) is a vastly overpriced stock. It is one of the no earnings stories.

SW,

I think you are exceptional – highly intelligent and generous in sharing ideas that have performed solidly. Also, I agree with you – I understand your type of investing success and think it has the great value of being replicable. I cannot see how to replicate David Gardner’s success.

That said, I disagree with your dismissal of David Gardner – it smacks of religiosity rather than rationality. In particular, to dismiss his AMZN success because AMZN does not satisfy value-investing criteria is circular: you are using your theory to filter the evidence. Whatever your ideology tells you, the vast profits that an AMZN investor has earned over many years are just as real as the dollars you have earned with BBSI; you may not like that, but it is a fact; dollars are fungible.

As a physicist and an attorney, I have learned the value of constructing my models of reality by starting with the facts and proceeding from there. It is emotionally satisfying, but in the long run quite risky, to do the reverse – to start with theory and construct (or filter) the facts to fit the theory.

When theory becomes dogma, uncritically accepted -- when theory guides perception, and is used as a filter to accept or reject observable phenomena – well, that theory is no longer rational; it has become a religion. And that is very different from your long-term approach, which I view as being extremely (and commendably) rational.

I guess it is enough for me to know that your method of investing works, is rational, and can be replicated through hard work and diligence (and intelligence). I do not need to take the extra step and venture into quasi-religious territory to dismiss competing theories or alternative approaches. I am comfortable living in an ideologically impure world.

I know the denizens of this board share your views on these matters; I fully expect to hear angry responses to this post (or, more likely, no responses – you are not the only person on this board who filters contrary thoughts through an ideological lens). That is OK; I learn more from criticisms than from praise and agreement. And silence? Well, I have been married for forty years; I am used to it.

Best regards,

Chance Elder Dancer 

1 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On November 04, 2013 at 3:54 PM, rofgile (99.33) wrote:

I don't know that I would invest in AMZN, but I believe the company would be very profitable if they stopped reinvesting their profits into growth. 

To me, it looks like AMZN is building an invincible moat (around their content business, ability to deliver at low prices, and ship quickly).

So...

-Rof 

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