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Wise and Deliberate Investing/A Career in the Securities (or banking) Industry

Career Exploration

Perhaps a career in the securities (or banking) industry is of interest. If so, here are some core principles to start your thinking in that direction. It is by no means an exhaustive list, but might be a good beginning point:


  1. Have discipline. The single most important attribute for success is a consistently applied strategy. Speculation is an effort, usually unsuccessful, to turn a little money into a lot. Investment is an effort, often successful, to prevent a lot of money from becoming a little;

  2. Bet on America. It’s the world’s largest economy, most innovative, most accounting transparent and most law-centric country. Many have bet against, for countless reasons, and they’ve been wrong;

  3. Dividends (and investment interest). There are significant data over long periods of time showing companies that consistently return capital to shareholders are more often the best managed. Such corporate leadership has to be highly effective capital allocators within their businesses. Moreover, there are more than fifty (50) well-known companies that have a twenty-five (25) year or more history of annually increasing their dividend payouts (“Dividend Aristocrats”). More are on a purposeful path to reach “aristocrat” status. These provide a near-certain annual income increase;

  4. Consider the balance sheet. Successful companies that are light on debt have the latitude to weather most any storm. Time works in these companies’ interests, as capital is allocated into long-term business strategies;

  5. Compounding works; “the eighth wonder of the world.” Time is a significant advantage when methodically engaging in compounding of income (all forms);

  6. Diversification. It’s a big, yet sometimes risky, world. Gain international exposure with U.S. companies that do measurable international business too, and have dedicated teams to effectively manage sales and currency exposures. Moreover, always stay diligent to see investment concentrations;

  7. Ignore noise. Whether from Wall Street, investment strategists, politicians, financial media, so-called experts and/or technicians, etc., stay wholly dedicated to one’s investment approach. Moreover, have a healthy skepticism; especially with the salesman;

  8. Price and liquidity. Buying “on-sale” is foundational. Understand value, a quality security and liquidity, while having an intentional bias towards “margin-of-safety” rather than expensive. Moreover, if it’s complex, it’s likely misunderstood, has liquidity challenges, especially in times of stress, when it’s usually most needed, and is too expensive. The salesman often favors illiquid investments, but it requires a never-ending vigilance in seeking accurate valuations;

  9. Determine taxes and fees. Math matters; know what one keeps;

  10. Risk/reward. Never chase a tip, a rumor, or anything that appears too good to be true. Every investment should be analyzed in relation to U.S. Treasury rates. One should also comprehend the likely direction of interest rates. Risk often comes from not knowing what you're doing, but thinking that you do.

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