Simplicity and Efficiency in 2013

Wanted to write a quick post on some thoughts regarding simplifying my investment routine and becoming more efficient…

I took a few weeks off from posting over Christmas and New Years to finalize some goals and business plans for the upcoming year. I’m going to continue writing down ideas on this blog going forward. I’ve always felt writing can improve clarity and understanding, and that is a key objective for this blog: to improve investment results. My hope is to share some conceptual ideas as well as specific investment ideas and hopefully help others improve as well.

There are two things related to my daily routine I hope to improve in 2013:

  • Simplifying my investment process
  • Becoming more efficient with my time

Both of these are interrelated and I feel I can dramatically improve in these areas. I have already made a number of improvements in these categories in 2012, but have a long way to go.

I spent a lot of time simplifying my investment process and I am now very happy with the structure of my routine. I took away many things that I determined to be unproductive and stripped them out of my routine. Blogs I don’t read, newspapers that don’t add much value relative to the time I spend reading them, scans I’m not really using, etc… I took these out. My routine is shorter and simpler, and hopefully that will lead to better efficiency.

Speaking of efficiency, my objective there is to simply work on using my time wiser. I started making very short lists of 2-3 things I want to do next.

As I’ve said a few times on this blog, I really admire Walter Schloss, not only for his incredible outperformance and career longevity, but for his emphasis on lifestyle. It was important to him to have a family life, and to enjoy other simple things in life. How did he do it? He was efficient with his routine. And he did just a few things. He was very simple. He didn’t own a computer. He used Value Line and company 10-K reports and that’s it.

My hope is that I’m able to use the allotted hours I have to work more effectively. Last year I spent a lot of time on concepts and strategy. This year, I will continue to develop those ideas, but I intend to spend more time on researching individual stocks. I’m going to spend a lot of time with Value Line. That will be my main tool this year. I have other tools like Morningstar and Finviz for screening, but Value Line will be my main tool. I will be focusing on basic balance sheet fundamentals. Back to basics: good old fashioned Graham and Dodd. I need to be focused and streamlined, so that I can maximize the time I have to analyze many stocks.

The goal as always is significant long term outperformance while staying focused on capital preservation as top priority. Don’t lose money.

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