Saturday, January 31, 2015

Jim Leitner quote: Follow up on your investment ideas

Global macro investor, Jim Leitner of Falcon Management was interviewed for Steven Drobny's book, Inside the House of Money. I've included one of my favorite quotes, on the importance of following up on investing ideas, below.

"Learn to love to listen to people and when you hear something interesting, follow up on it. Don't just think, "Well that's an interesting idea" only to find out a year later that the company you could've bought shares in is now up 500-fold. You never want to say woulda, coulda, shoulda." 

Jim Leitner Falcon hedge fund manager quote investing

This is an especially relevant quote, as I've struggled with regrets over missed opportunities after I failed to pull the trigger on some of my best investing ideas (click through for more on this trading phenomenon). 

During the course of this bull market, I've also made errors of omission when it came to following up on unique investing and trading ideas gleaned from other smart traders. Maybe you've faced the same issues in your trading and investing journey. So what steps can we take to change and seize the opportunities that we uncover?

The important thing to take away from Leitner's quote is the importance of following up on ideas, even if it's just by taking a small starter position ("a tiny amount of money"). 

If you reduce the size of your initial commitment (say, 20 shares vs. your usual 200 or 1000 shares) it will allow you to have a small "feeler" position that can be increased as the investment works out or goes your way. That way, you can step up your position size as you begin to see a profit. Conversely, you will limit your initial losses to a small portion of your overall capital if the trade should go against you. 

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