“All you need for a lifetime of successful investing is a few big winners, and the pluses from those will overwhelm the minuses from the stocks that don’t work out” ~ Peter Lynch ~ One up on Wall Street.
I have been reading ‘One up on Wall Street’ ~ Peter Lynch. The book is a classic and a must read for people interested in value investing.
This Part III is in continuation to earlier parts and thus completes the twelve most silliest things people say about stock prices as mentioned in the book.
I hope this trilogy will help you in your investing journey.
Thank you Peter Lynch for the wonderful book and common sensical approach to stock investing. Enjoy (points 9 through 12)….
9. What me worry, Conservative Stocks do not fluctuate much…
Peter Lynch gives examples of Utility Companies. Two generations of investors grew up on the idea that they could not go wrong with the Utility stocks. You could just put them in safety deposit and cash the dividend checks. However with the nuclear and the base rate problems, suddenly the nuclear plants became expensive and stocks fluctuated wildly over a couple of years.
Companies are dynamic and prospects change. There simply isn’t a stock that you can own and you can afford to ignore.
Near home, FMCG Stocks have always been considered conservative stocks with relatively low beta and good dividends. However, over the past 2 years most of the FMCG stocks have considerably outperformed the index. The valuations are stretched and stocks have literally become multi baggers. Can these stocks be considered be conservative any longer? Is anybody’s guess….
10. It’s taking too long for anything to happen
“PostDivesture Flourish”, a term coined by Peter Lynch, which means that after considerably waiting for a stock to do something, you give up, and when you finally sell the stock, the price of the stock starts to flourish and move northwards.
I have experienced this when I gave up on LIC Housing Finance in mid 2009 after holding the stock for almost 3 years. The stock went up almost 5 times in the next 2 years.
Learning ~ Do not give up on the stock if all is well with the company and the reasons for which I bought the stock have not changed.
The stock markets tests patience and rewards conviction.
It takes remarkable patience to hold on to an idea / stock that excites you, but which the market largely ignores. You begin to think everyone else is right, and you are wrong. But remember, where the fundamentals are promising, patience is more often than not ~ rewarded.
11. I missed that one, I will catch the next one
This is such a common mistake committed by a large number of investors.
Page Industries is one such stock, which has given phenomenal returns to investors over the past 3 years, and continues to do so. Investors who missed out on Page Industries are trying to catch onto other seemingly similar stocks like Lovable Lingerie.
This is a mistake because the performance of Page Industries is based on various factors like the company management, capital structure, earnings growth, streamlined and strategic supply chain, brand image, brand power and brand recall value, customer loyalty, vendor relationships, pricing power etc which is difficult for another company to imitate. The other company should be judged on it’s own merit for investment purposes.
It’s always better to buy the original good company at a higher price than to jump on to the next one at a bargain price. (Same logic applies when buying real estate as well…. I will talk about my views on real estate some other time though…)
12. The stock’s gone up, so I must be right or Vice Versa.
Peter Lynch terms this as the single greatest fallacy of investing. Believing that when the stock price is up, then you’ve made a good investment. Investors confuse prices with prospects.
If you purchase a stock at Rs 100 and it moves up to Rs 105, investors take comfort from this fact, as if it proves the wisdom of their purchase. Nothing could be further from truth. Investors commit mistakes based on this fallacy ~ Either selling a good company at a loss, believing that they committed a mistake or holding on to bad apples if the prices are up post the purchase.
Remember the Stock does not know that you own it.
Unless you are a short term trade looking for 20 odd % gains /loss the short-term fanfare means absolutely nothing.
A stocks going up or down after you buy only indicates that there was someone who was willing to pay more or less for the identical merchandise. That’s it
With this I lay to rest the 12 mistakes committed by investors with the hopes that you, can avoid these common mistakes and in the process become a successful investor.