Investing successfully in finance: listening to yourself and others


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Text comes from: Des klugen Investors Handbuch: Warum man mit Nein! das meiste Geld verdient und mit welchen Großaktionären man sich ins Bett legen darf (2016) by Dr. Markus Elsässer, published by Münchener Verlagsgruppe (MVG), Reprints by friendly permission of the publisher.
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You do not need to complete a degree to become a successful investor. There is also no reason to be put off by the technical terms of the so-called "financial experts". However, there are no magic recipes either. Start with yourself.

Investing successfully in finance: listening to yourself and others


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Dr. Markus Elsässer is considered one of the best bankers and fund managers in Europe.

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Investor vs. Speculator: Consider your own psyche

Start with yourself. Find out what type of person you are when it comes to your money. The way you deal with stocks and the stock market should be tailored to your personality. If you honestly pray with yourself, you have a good chance of successfully increasing your capital over the long term.

At the beginning there is the question: speculator or investor? Many investors are wondering why they are so unsuccessful on the stock market over time. Wrong timing, boarded too late, sold too early ... always the same. What is important is a clear positioning: Am I an investor or am I a speculator? There is nothing in between. But what makes a speculator? And what is the difference to the investor?

  1. An investor deals with the assessment of the company in which he intends to invest on the stock exchange. He forms an opinion about the quality of the company and its products. He is concerned with the earnings position and balance sheet, the market position, the corporate culture and the future prospects of the company. This is how he finally comes to his investment decision: buy or stay away from it. Fluctuating stock market prices usually leave him cold. He is interested in his own assessment of the value of the company - and not that of the stock market. In the long term, its calculation of the value will also be reflected in the price on the stock exchange.
  2. The speculator on the other hand, keeps an eye on the stock market price. He calculates and ponders how the course of the corporation will develop. How about that Company in detail is more or less irrelevant to him. Speculators often don't even know what the company is manufacturing, what the CEO is called, or where the company's headquarters are located. The speculator must be well acquainted with the financial markets and the stock market mass psychology; not with the individual corporation.

How do you survive a stock market crash?

The famous financier B. Baruch, who successfully survived the big crash on Wall Street 1929, aptly grasped the nature of the speculator a long time ago. The real speculator is a person who makes predictions and who acts before the event occurs. Like a surgeon, he has to be able to research a mass of complicated and contradicting details before he can identify the important factors. Then he must be able to operate with a cool head on the basis of these factors.

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The task of determining the factors on the stock exchange is so difficult because we have to penetrate a thick veil of human emotions for this purpose. The price fluctuations are not caused by impersonal economic forces and changing events, but by the reactions of people to these events. The speculator's constant problem is to separate the hard economic facts from the warm feelings of the people involved in these factors. There is no better way to get to the point.

For the success of the stock market, this means: either I open up and strive to become a profound investor, or I strive to be a clever speculator. Those who consistently stay on course on their chosen path have good chances. But one thing is guaranteed to lead to failure: once to "play" the speculator, then to mark the "wise" investor, depending on the situation and mood, sometimes one way or the other - that ends in offside.

Every investor is different

Before you set foot on the trading floor, you should know what type of investor you actually are. The topic is more important than you think. The problem: No bank advisor will help you with this. There are investors who invest their money in stocks over the long term. They ignore price fluctuations and remain invested in a stock for many years and decades. They believe in real assets and avoid paper money and bonds as an investment.

However, this type of investment is not recommended for every investor. Some just don't have the patience and nerve to hold stocks for so long. Others find it much too boring and itchy to sell shares. You would also prefer to take advantage of other equity opportunities over time. Still others need the sense of achievement to be able to boast of realized course profits.

This is not so much about which of the two strategies leads to more success: real long-term investor versus de facto short-term speculator. Every investor is strongly advised to find out which category he belongs to. He has to be honest with himself in self-analysis. It doesn't help to imitate successful or prominent large investors or to follow their mantra.

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Not everyone is a Warren Buffett

A good example of this is the "case" Warren Buffett from Omaha. With his long-term strategy of staying engaged for decades and rarely selling stock blocks or companies, he has put in a fantastic life's work. He is adored by many small shareholders and investors. His words are carefully listened to. Thousands pilgrim to the general meeting in remote Omaha. They all try to emulate him in order to become such a smart investor.

But not everyone has the psychogram of a Warren Buffett. And there the devout investor 20mal can travel to Omaha, he will never have the same nerve costume as the "Oracle of Omaha". Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway portfolio cannot be transferred one-to-one to your own account. But above all, you can rely on Warren Buffett. He has unassailable equity. Despite his outstanding success, he has no ego problem. He gives his investments a free hand in entrepreneurial terms. He has proven this for 55 years. This is a rarity worldwide.

It sounds good, of course, if you pretend to be a wise investor who, like Buffett, is prudent and manages his capital in the long term. Who doesn't mind the stock market turmoil. Who also always slept 2008 calmly. Who was not annoyed by the suddenly falling prices during the summer vacation of August 2015. But the question is: are you really knitted like this? Especially investors from respected professions or distinguished circles find it difficult to "come out". Which tax advisor or lawyer likes to admit that he is a nervous gambler? Which general representative of a family of industrialists is happy to confess that he is particularly fascinated by dubious speculations?

Listen to yourself: It's all about self-analysis

Based on my many years of experience, it is clear to me that it doesn't matter whether you are about to buy your first share or whether you have been "walking back and forth" with moderate success for years. Self-analysis is the be-all and end-all. And there is no bank advisor or asset manager to help you. These people will not ruthlessly hold up the mirror to you. Anyone who wants to invest their capital on the stock exchange with joy and success in the long run must know exactly who they are dealing with "on the bridge". You yourself are the real risk. Your investment strategy must match your character and nature. If you can do that, you will feel much more comfortable in your skin. And I wouldn't be surprised if your performance suddenly improves. This is the only way to consistently and systematically invest money. Otherwise you will always be carried off the curve with the stock market storms.

If you simply cannot manage self-exploration on your own, invite someone to a confidential conversation who knows you well from your kindergarten or primary school years. At that time you were the way you really are. Only then did it begin to "bend" you.

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Well, the stock market is good for many things.


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