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Things Just Take Longer Than I Thought

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September 30, 2007 – Comments (3)

One of the lessons that I keep getting presented with as an investor is that it takes longer for an economic thesis to play out than I think it will. Something seems obvious to me, and it does often happen, But it takes quarters or years (or sometimes even decades) for it to come about.

I think a big part of this is that the economy is like an ultra-large crude carrier. It takes a lot of doing to get it going in one direction, then it takes an equal amount of doing to make it change direction.

One of the reasons for this is the rate at which infra-structure gets replaced. A lot of stuff has a very long life span (measured in decades) so replacing it will not happen very quickly. An example of this is broadcast TV. The standard was adopted a really long time ago, and we still haven't fully adopted a new one.

I think the lesson I need to take from this is that I often have a lot more time to decide when to jump on a thesis than I think I do. The upswing or the turn-around or the change in demand will take a while to play out, not happen in a few weeks. This does not mean that decisive action is not required when the time is right, but I have to be more deliberate about picking that time.

Patience is a virtue I often lack. But the universe is the perfect teacher and will keep giving me the lesson until I get it.

 

3 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On September 30, 2007 at 1:06 PM, TMFAleph1 (95.13) wrote:

CHK999 -- Nice post. Your point holds if you are wagering on major technology shifts or other types of important secular change (even then, disruptive technologies can overtake the incumbent standard relatively quickly). However, if you are simply talking about identifying undervalued equities, the window of opportunity is often very short.

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#2) On October 08, 2007 at 7:44 PM, MRBillsnutjob (21.05) wrote:

I read some where in the postings of a daytrader an article I think "10 things you need to know to survive as a day trader".  "That the market always gives a second chance" (as long as the first chance dosnt bus't you or the company your intrested in).  What do you think of this just pondering. I like your post I also have the same problem but not nearly the experience. 

 

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#3) On October 10, 2007 at 9:04 PM, WhidbeyIsland (72.47) wrote:

People are lured into "penny stocks" because (1) They "feel" cheap (an illusion) and because they fluctuate so quickly people feel that their expectations and intuitions (however illlusory) are playing out more quickly.

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