RULE 50: Only Buy Shares (Or Anything) You Can Understand

Dr. Seye Kehinde, accomplished Publisher with Son, Seye Jnr.
Another rule to
engrave on your heart; buying share-or anything else to sell on in order to
make money-is just another form of gambling. When I worked as a casino manager,
it was well recognized that there was a hierarchy of casinos. At the bottom
were the ones with the slot machines and noisy brash atmosphere.


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At the top were
the gentlemen’s clubs where it was all smoked glass and diffused lighting.
Gamblers of course recognize the hierarchy and felt that the latter were
somehow ‘cleaner’. Similarly most people view the stock market as in some way
more refined, sophisticated-and thus free of risk or odds or danger. But it is
all gambling. Nothing is certain.

“I have a friend who only invests in green
companies. He swims around with an air of moral superiority; he believes he has
bought a ticket to heaven by doing this. He is a gambler. He doesn’t realize
this. Is he buying with his head as well as with his heart?”

If you are going
to gamble on shares (or anything else you want to buy and sell), then reduce
the odds as much as possible and only invest in or buy things you know and
understand. By doing this, you eliminate a lot of the mystique which can lead
you to stake more than you intend, take risks you wouldn’t normally, or be bamboozled
by slick marketing fufu.
If you shop at Mark & Spencer, and you see that
the new product ranges are good and that the stores are full and you hear
people raving about how M&S has
improved this year, then buy Marks &
Spencer
shares. If you keep studying the store and listening to people
shopping you will quickly notice if it continues to be a good investment.
Just be careful
you are aware if you are buying with your head or heart. I have a friend who
only invests in green companies. He swims around with an air of moral
superiority; he believes he has bought a ticket to heaven by doing this. He is
a gambler. He doesn’t realize this. Is he buying with his head as well as with
his heart? If you find investments in something you love, be clear if you are
buying as an investment on business principles, or simply because you want to.
If your rational market analysis says that wind farms are the future, and will
be a growing industry with big returns, then fantastic, you can invest with
head and heart.
If you don’t really understand a particular sector
of business, and you don’t intend to put the work in to get to know it well,
then you will almost certainly be better off investing in something else. If
you want to invest shares, but don’t want to do all the home work and make all
the decisions yourself, then you can use an investment fund. And that brings us
conveniently to our next Rule.
From The Book; The Rules of Wealth by
Richard Templar
(Read Rule
51
of Rule of Wealth on Monday at Asabeafrika)


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