Perhaps I shouldn’t speak for the poster who suggested you “don’t belong”. I don’t recall the exact wording that was used, but I think I do understand where that person was coming from. I think that person was trying to protect you from pain and loss, so I think (s)he was coming from a good place, even if the opinion was expressed a bit harshly. I hope any offense you took is mitigated by recognizing that person was concerned for your welfare.
For me, I don’t agree that you don’t belong - please accept my warm welcome - but let me try to summarize the thinking.
Saul is an advanced, experienced investor and his strategies have a straightforward component, but contain many subtleties. Maybe I’m generalizing my thoughts across too many people, but I think that many of the very experienced investors on this board understand the basics of what he does and could replicate those, if we wanted. I think that the more difficult component is the re-balancing and re-evaluating that Saul does. I think the “don’t belong” poster was concerned that an inexperienced investor would experience real difficulty trying to replicate Saul’s results and suffer frustration and loss in the process.
Furthermore, there is likely a recognition on that poster’s part that “temperament” is at least as important as “intelligence” and “knowledge” in investing. The types of stocks that Saul prefers are probably a bit more volatile than the market overall. These are not the “Procter & Gamble” or "Johnson & Johnson"s of the world. A severe downturn in a stock you’ve purchased is a disheartening event! “Temperament” is what prevents an emotional reaction to that event (whether greed or fear is the driving emotion). Only after “temperament” has been applied can “intelligence” and “knowledge” be used to attempt to discern the appropriate response. Even further, you’ve probably noted that my recent posts here have tried to distinguish “process” and “outcome”. Experienced investors realize that good process tilts the likelihood of a good outcome in your favor, but good process ENSURES nothing. Or, more specifically, it doesn’t ensure a good outcome. At best, you can hope that good process will yield more good outcomes than bad outcomes, or at least that the magnitude of your good outcomes will more than offset the bad outcomes.
As I often do when I encounter a new person posting, I try to listen for their voice and not just read their words. In your “voice”, Eyelise17, I hear intelligence, common sense, and intellectual curiosity. I also hear a good dose of caution. Because of those qualities, I DO think you belong. But I think you’ll need to continually apply ALL those qualities as you learn on this board and then - increasingly over time - share what you’ve learned with the board both as a way of testing it, and as a way of helping those following in your footsteps. NONE of us started out as experienced investors. At best, we had mentors who got us up to speed quickly. Through this board, Saul has offered himself up as a mentor. I think the broad range of investors who choose to listen and interact here says something about the depth of knowledge he’s bringing to the table.
So, while I agree that novices need to tread carefully when learning and trying to apply Saul’s methodology, I think “don’t belong” is far too strong. Instead, I think that novices need to recognize that there are underlying fundamental skills that need to be attained before trying to become the next Saul. These include: understanding the mechanics of investment, understanding what resources are available to investors to learn more about the companies that interest them, and trying to develop the temperament needed to be successful. If others can think of fundamental skills that I’ve omitted, please chime in - I didn’t give that list a ton of thought.
Another approach novices might want to take - when approaching any new investment strategy, not just Saul’s - is to work with the strategy on paper for a while, or using only very small sums of money.
Anyway, let me shut down this post before it gets too big and unfocused. I hope it has been helpful.
Thanks and best wishes,
TMFDatabaseBob (long: PG)
See my holdings here: http://my.fool.com/profile/TMFDatabasebob/info.aspx
Peace on Earth