Sunday, May 11, 2014

My approach to blogging and tweeting

And now, in the words of Monty Python, for something completely different...

When I was at school, I always struggled with written exams. Not because I didn't know the subject, but because I was always very economical with the number of words I used. Examiners marked the answers down, simply because I didn't use the required minimum number of words, and the teachers were disappointed in the grades I got. It was a consistent theme throughout my school life.

My argument always was "why write 500 words when you can say the same in 50?"

I guess that, even at that age, I was unknowingly using the Pareto Principle, in that 80% of the answer was contained in 20% of what you wrote. Why bother with writing 500 words if all you need to demonstrate your understanding was a few sentences covering the main points, include the relevant buzzwords and a couple of bullet points to summarise? What was the point of all the rest of it?

To this day, I have carried on using this approach. Less is more. Quality over quantity. The use of the KISS principle.

What I have tried to avoid at all costs is veering in the opposite direction - like those who seemingly have verbal or written diahorrea. You see this approach on social media, in business, and life in general. The people who love the sound of their own voice, or who insist on commenting on every tweet or post on a bulletin board. More often than not, the message can get lost or twisted, or at the very least diluted. Clarity is very important.

In the past, I've commented on bulletin boards on a general discussion about a stock maybe, from a trend following perspective, to be quickly shot down in flames. "You don't know what you're doing", "That approach can't work", and insist that their approach is always right. Then you check back six months later, and find out that those same people had blown their accounts because they refused to take a small loss, which then developed into a devastating loss. Once I was accused of de-ramping a stock (?) so I could buy back in at a lower price, simply after I had stated I had exited a position because the trend had reversed. He obviously had no clue about how trend following works...

My approach to blogging or tweeting is simple - to post when there is something worth saying, that may be of value to others. Quite often what I post here is as a result of a conversation with another trader about a particular point or issue, that has been the spark of a topic. Consequently, the flow of posts or tweets can be irregular. If there's nothing to say, I'm not going to waste my (and your) time by posting something that's irrelevant.

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