Our mission is still the same in 2018, ‘to empower individual investors.’
Give you the tools and knowledge to help you grow your investment skills to the elite level.
To live and breathe our mission, our 2018 strategy is to implement programs that reflect our mission.
The 10 Week Premium Coaching Clinic is one of those programs.
The vision for the Premium Coaching Clinic is to grow and nurture a small community of individual elite investors.
In 1984, Warren Buffett wrote an article for Columbia Business School, titled the SuperInvestors of Graham & Doddville. He wrote about how a small close knit group of investors, who were taught personally by Ben Graham and David Dodd, consistently outperformed the entire investment community in America.
They referred to themselves as Grahamites.
The Grahamites, would meet once or twice a year to discuss investment ideas. This was well before the internet came along, so they had to physically meet to have a discussion.
In her book, The Snowball by Alice Schroeder, about Warren Buffett life, she tells the story about how this close knit community would meet up and each member would give an hour lecture on their topic of their choice. Charlie Munger apparently spent an hour explaining Einstein’s theory of relatively to the group.
In January 1968, Buffett had issued a call to his fellow Grahamites, summoning them together for the first time as a meeting of the faithful in the middle of a stock market gone mad. “[T]here has been a tremendous change in in attitude in the last few years, and I think the gang that is assembling in La Jolla is bout all that is left of the old guard,” he wrote, inviting Graham’s former students Bill Ruane, Walter Schloss, Marshall Weinberg, Jack Alexander, and Tom Knapp.
– Alice Schroeder
By meeting up and openly sharing investment ideas, they help each other improve their own investment skills, by not only listening to each other’s ideas, but also by challenging each idea based on its own merits. Each experienced investor could provide a fresh prospective on the idea, allowing to spot a potential blind-spot.
The act of openly sharing new ideas and challenging each other’s ideas helped all group members grow their knowledge and thought process, allowing them to maintain their elite investment process.
In March, You too will be able to join a small group of other individual investors, in the 10 week Premium Coaching Clinic.
Where we will cover all technical aspects of investing – Company valuation, Industry Analysis, portfolio management – and most importantly personal peak performance, as 85% of success in investing is psychology!
The goup will not end after the 10 weeks.
An exclusive invite-only Facebook group will be available to allow participating investors to continue to share ideas and organise selective meet ups.
Why a coaching clinic?
If we are going to achieve our goal of creating a small group of elite individual investors, we have to deliver the content in a different way to all other online investment courses.
For instance, consider the Certified Financial Analyst (CFA) course, who – as I learnt the hard way – make their participants learn on their own. First, they make you pay over $3,000, for their level one course, and then say ‘The exam is in six months’ time, oh and in the meantime, read these two to three books if you want to pass the exam, see ya.’ That’s it.
Then you sit for a three hour exam, and if you pass you move to level two and repeat the same process again.
There is little to no support (as I experienced), and what disappointed me the most was, learning that the course continues to teach investment ideas that only the finance armchair academics believe in, the exact same one’s Buffett advises, in his Berkshire Hathaway annual reports, to avoid.
For example the use of Efficient Modern Portfolio Theory, CAPM and its components.
What’s going on here?
There’s an old fable, about a social experiment conducted to find out how bad ideas, beliefs and habits get passed from person to person.
The experimenters placed five monkey’s in a large cage, with a ladder and a bunch of banana’s hanging from the cage above the ladder.
Upon seeing the banana’s all five monkeys started climbing the ladder, and as they started to climbed the whole cage was sprayed with ice cold water.
The monkeys jump off the ladder in shock.
One monkey was undeterred and tried again while the others waited on the floor, but again as he started to climb up the ladder all five monkeys were again sprayed with ice cold water.
So the other four pulled the monkey off the ladder.
So now, not one of them dares to climb the ladder to eat the bananas, out of fear of being sprayed with ice cold water. So these five monkey’s learnt to avoid climbing the ladder to eat the bananas because of the ice cold water.
The experimenters, replaced one monkey from the original five with a new monkey.
The new monkey sees the bananas hanging above the ladder and starts climbing it. This monkey is unaware that the cage gets sprayed with ice cold water, but the other four monkeys grab him, pull him down and beat him for climbing.
This new monkey has no idea why the others pulled him down and beat him for climbing the ladder to eat the bananas, but he has learnt that climbing the ladder is bad.
The experimenters replace another monkey and again the new monkey who like the first new monkey tries to climb the ladder and the three older monkeys along with the new monkey pull down him down and beat him.
Again the new monkey learns to not climb the ladder to eat the bananas out of fear of being beaten by the others.
The experimenters continue replacing monkeys until all have been replaced.
Now all the monkeys inside the cage won’t climb the ladder, because they learnt that if you climb the ladder to eat the bananas the others will beat you, but none of them know why.
I tell you this story because it applies to the CFA example above, most business schools, and others offering online courses.
They have failed to challenge conventional thinking, “it’s just the way it done around here” is their response, and you know that the top performers in any field are not doing the same thing as everyone else does, right. Otherwise everyone would be a superstar!
The arm chair finance professors like to ignore reality, take for instance the common adopted assumption that Beta is risk.
These arm chair finance professor believes that short term share price movements up or down – it’s called volatility – is risk.
And so they applied complicated mathematical models to measure a stock price volatility against the whole market’s volatility and gave it a score – refer to as Beta –
But these arm chair finance professors continue to pass on these bad ideas just like the monkeys in the cage. In exams, instead of ice cold water being sprayed they instead fail students who don’t write the answer they want to read.
Now, of course Beta is not risk, and it doesn’t reflect reality.
Volatility is not risk, volatility is volatility, and secondly, every share we buy is a piece of a company’s equity. And the share price is a reflection of the price people are willing to pay for for that piece of company’s equity at any given moment.
The risk resides in the company, managements ability to grow the value of the company’s equity.
That is why Benjamin Graham, said the following about share price movements:
“In the short run, the market is a voting machine but in the long run, it is a weighing machine.”
The teaching of Modern Portfolio theory, CAPM and it’s components is an example the monkey experiment happening in real life.
Knowledge is not power! Potential knowledge is power!
Success in investing is 85% psychology! The rest is doing the work.
From personal experience, coaching is way more effective than just presenting an online course, especially when the goal is become an elite investor.
Learning the knowledge is not enough, you have to put it into action, it requires daily practice.
Practice that involves: failure in a safe environment, cultivating quality concentration, and feedback.
I’m not against online courses in general, you know I offer short courses online to teach you a specific valuation tool, but when you are training to be the best, we need more than just a 20 minute YouTube video to get us there.
Coaching offers an ability to keep us accountable, which involves failing in a safe environment, and when we know there is someone who supports us, we grow skill and knowledge at an accelerated rate.
I’ll be modelling several courses and coaching clinics I have attended personally.
One such course is the Columbia Business School -Executive Education Program – Value Investing –
Back in 2013, I invested USD $6,000 to attend the Columbia University’s 3 day executive educational program – Value Investing – taught by Bruce Greenwald.
I loved every moment. It was a thrilled to attend the very same university and a similar course, to the one Benjamin Graham taught, and where Graham taught Warren Buffett in 1951.
One takeaway was the class size and diversity.
Which I want to replicate into he Coaching Clinic. Having a diverse number of people from different backgrounds added a lot of value to discussions, and the small class sized helped us to get to know each other on a personal level.
The Coaching Clinic will be limited to only 500 students, from across the world. And it will be a first come first served basis.
The Price is only $3000 Australian or approximately $2200 U.S. (depending exchange rates).
Get in early and add your name to the email waiting list below.