Thursday, May 26th, 2011
three years on

Tomorrow marks the third anniversary of this blog.

May of 2008 was not the best time to start writing about investment process.  The next many months were all about survival and “sharpening the saw” of methodology seemed like a luxury in times of economic chaos and crisis.

Yet, the events of that period provided ample evidence that delving into the “how” of investment decision making is not just an intellectual exercise.  “How could this have happened?” was a common question.  The answer?  “One decision at a time.”

And so the postings went on and on, about one a week.  I am reminded of the novelist Frederick Manfred, who tried to write one or two pages a day and ended up with more than thirty books to his credit.Center for Great Plains Studies | Manfred wrote primarily about “Siouxland.”  I was lucky enough to know him. Even coming a few at a time, the words do add up; you can take a measure of mine by consulting a PDF guide to the research puzzle that I recently created.the research puzzle | The guide will be updated once a quarter at the same web address going forward.

The subject matter has been wide-ranging and multi-disciplinary, and iconoclastic, or so I’m told.  All of that is a reflection of who I am and how I approach the investment world on behalf of clients for whom I provide consulting service and/or investment advice.  Of course, there’s no automatic benefit from recasting a problem in a different mold than others use, but if you don’t at least make the attempt, you’ll never know what other possibilities existed.

A look back would not be complete without a thank you to those who have helped me with ideas, those who have promoted my work, and especially those who have been faithful readers of this blog and its sister publication, research puzzle pix.research puzzle pix | Each edition of pix features a chart of interest and some commentary.  The most recent chart is always found in the sidebar of this site. The online discourse has enriched my work, by exposing me to new ideas, resources, and people — many of whom I have befriended without ever actually talking to them, even on the phone.

Unfortunately, it’s easy to get swept up in the virtual activity.  Last year, I wrote a bit about the challenge of balancing creative activities with information gathering in a posting about “the cave and the flow.”the research puzzle | In today’s world, “navigating the information flow in a productive manner is a never-ending challenge.” A second dimension is the division between work done for pay and work done for free, and it’s important to find the right mix in that realm as well.  I expect to write a bit less on the websites going forward and to concentrate on providing longer, more detailed bespoke research related to my consulting and advisory work.

But as I look at my notes for upcoming postings, I won’t be vacating this space anytime soon (God willing).  Three years on, I’m still excited by the challenge of putting words to ideas, and grateful that you have given up your time to consider them.