Investing like an Amateur

Ian Cassel Blog 2 Comments

Floating Green at CDA Resort Course

I’m currently on vacation in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.  I first was here 5 years ago when I was working with Timberline Resources (TLR) and have been here a handful of times since.  This area has a rich history in resources (mining, timber, etc).  In fact the Silver Valley as it’s called is a few miles away which hosts the richest silver area in North America.  Don’t let this historic roughneck history full you, the area itself is very “Lake Tahoe”, and the resort here is one of the nicest places you will ever stay (www.cdaresort.com).

Im’ a pretty avid golfer.  I would say my handicap is normally a 8-10. The golf course at the resort is world renowned for its poshness (if that’s a word).  Yesterday was the first time I played the course, and I started out very rusty.  Each group has it’s own caddy that tells you your exact yardage, which way a putt will break, cleans your clubs after every shot…basically does everything but swing the club for you.  The first two holes of the day were two fairly routine Par 4’s which I carded back to back snowmen (snowman = 8).  I was very annoyed because I can usually hold my own wherever I play, but through two holes I was already 8 over par (my norm for all 18 holes).  I was playing like a complete hacker amateur.  Through four holes I started doing a little bit better and at one point the caddy says, “You know you could be a good golfer if you just played more”.  I sort of just nodded with affirmation while thinking to myself, “man this guy does think I’m a complete hacker”.  The caddy was right.  The decisions I was making on the golf course, lack of concentration,  and lack of execution showed him I was not a good golfer.  The proof was in the pudding.   

Because I make 100% of my income from capital gains, I can’t afford to invest like an amateur.  I’ve made some real bone headed moves in my investing career, and most of those stupid decisions happened after logging a big win.  Inversely, some of the best decisions I’ve made were while my back was against the wall.  Some of the stupidest decisions were investing in a few PIPE’s that I really shouldn’t have.  I took an investment banking persons word for something and didn’t do my normal DD.  Throwing some money here and there doesn’t seem like that big of a deal when times are good, but then when the markets turn, anything perceived as having a financing risk gets pounded.  All of a sudden you realize you should have stuck to what you knew, stuck with your instincts.  Investing like a professional is sort of the opposite.  To invest like a professional I try to invest like I’m broke, like my back is against the wall.  This is a serious business with serious consequences.  Wen I forget this the stock gods teach me a lesson.

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Comments 2

  1. Ian, frankly I’m a little disappointed in you! You had the bait on the hook for that Caddy “wisenheimer”. A couple of small tugs on the line and you could have reeled him in! Easy money! lol

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