June 1, 2011

The Seven Attitudes of Intuitive Investors

Investors can fine-tune their intuitive and meditative skills to make more solid, grounded decisions

In “The Intuitive Investor: A Radical Guide for Manifesting Wealth,” Jason Apollo Voss explains how investors can fine-tune their intuitive and meditative skills in order to make more solid, grounded decisions. Seven “essential investor attitudes” are part of this process:

Attitude 1: Focus on risks before opportunities. Risks recur and are more predictable than opportunities, which tend to be rarer and more unique when they do crop up.

Attitude 2: Comfort with uncertainty. There is no such thing as a future fact; investment results are always uncertain. This attitude can help you take action when the analysis is complete, eliminating anxiety that leads to “heaping data” on the issue.

Attitude 3: A good decision is most often greater than or equal to the “best” decision. It’s better to focus on making a good choice from among the many uncertain possibilities than to be paralyzed by uncertainty about which one is best. By freeing you from left-brain perfectionism, which can lead to gridlock, this attitude can give you better investment timing.

Attitude 4: Forgive yourself for not being perfect. This is another attitude that helps you overcome left-brain perfectionism, lightening the emotional load so you can learn from mistakes and move on to make better decisions.

Attitude 5: You are holding investment interviews. Imagine yourself interviewing investments for a position in your portfolio. You hold the power over businesses that you decide whether or not to invest in. This attitude leads to a more thorough analysis and better investment decisions.

Attitude 6: Why does it have to be this one? By reminding you to be more selective and avoid buying anything unless you are perfectly comfortable with it, this attitude leads to higher-quality, lower-risk investments.

Attitude 7: Beware false prophets. Be skeptical of hype—or as Voss puts it, “Beware of investments whose story is told with lots of adjectives.” Archetypes, analogies and extreme language (the Immortal One, the Plague Company, the Boy Genius) are no substitute for analysis.

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