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 Investment Philosophy

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Chinese Version of Poor Charlie’s Almanack

 

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Chinese Foreword by Li Lu (pdf)

 

 Li Lu’s John Jay Award Acceptance Speech

March 7, 2012

 

Order Online: China, Outside of China

 

“In making investments, I have always believed that you must act with discipline whenever you see something you truly like. To explain this philosophy, Buffett/Munger likes to use a baseball analogy that I find particularly illuminating, though I myself am not at all a baseball expert. Ted Williams is the only baseball player who had a .400 single-season hitting record in the last seven decades. In the Science of Hitting, he explained his technique. He divided the strike zone into seventy-seven cells, each representing the size of a baseball. He would insist on swinging only at balls in his ‘best’ cells, even at the risk of striking out, because reaching for the ‘worst’ spots would seriously reduce his chances of success. As a securities investor, you can watch all sorts of business propositions in the form of security prices thrown at you all the time. For the most part, you don’t have to do a thing other than be amused. Once in a while, you will find a ‘fat pitch’ that is slow, straight, and right in the middle of your sweet spot. Then you swing hard. This way, no matter what natural ability you start with, you will substantially increase your hitting average. One common problem for investors is that they tend to swing too often. This is true for both individuals and for professional investors operating under institutional imperatives, one version of which drove me out of the conventional long/short hedge fund operation. However, the opposite problem is equally harmful to long-term results: You discover a ‘fat pitch’ but are unable to swing with the full weight of your capital.”

 

—Li Lu

 

(Poor Charlie’s Almanack, 3rd Edition 2009, Page 61)

 

 

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