My reflections

My reflections on my investing as of Jan 2017 (the year that everything took off).

Dreamer’s recent post kindly referred me back to my post reflecting on my investing in January 2017. I could see that something had not been working for a while and decided to figure out what I could learn about it and do about it. It was interesting for me to reread it and would probably be interesting for you as well. And thanks again to Dreamer for finding it!…




I received the following question off board, and felt that others might have misunderstood as well, so I decided to answer it here. It refers back to what I wrote in my 2017 reflections:

Listening to everyone talking about the Internet Bubble made me wonder how much of my success was due to my one extraordinary decision to sell out of my internet stocks at what turned out to be the top of the bubble, or close to it. This resulted in me making a gain of 115.5% in 1999, and then, in 2000, when everyone who held their internet stocks, or added to them on the decline, had huge losses, I was up 19.0%. The indexes were down, as well, of course.

Eddie asked:

I wanted to understand the context of what you meant with the statement above “Listening to everyone talking about the Internet Bubble” where you decided to sell as a result … Did you mean everyone recognized at that time that it was an internet bubble? Perhaps saying they would know when to exit when the time came? I was wondering what made you decide to sell when everyone was doubling down…

Eddie got that all backwards. I was explaining my reflection in January of 2017. When I sold out in the beginning of 2000 I don’t remember anyone recognizing it was a bubble. I didn’t. For why I sold out, see the Knowledgebase Part 1.



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I remember people recognizing 1999 as a bubble, Saul. I remember it being the subject of heated debate on message boards. Dutch tulips came up a lot. I was one of many who lost that bet.



I never thanked you on here for what you have done, even though I did it in my heart many many times. You have no idea how many lives you have changed, as people that learnt from you will also spread the knowledge.

I started to follow you mid-2015, arguably the worst time to start. Not long after, the picks tanked. However, you were able to articulate so well why you did the things you did, and they just made a lot of sense to me, so I just continued to follow and learn from you. In the beginning, it shocked me how fast you changed your position as you received new information. Now I see how brilliant that is.

I don’t contribute very often to this board, as I’d like to be able to offer something unique and helpful, and such occurrence is just rare, as there are so many bright minds on this board. I do hope I can contribute more. 2 stocks that have done well for me this year that haven’t been discussed much on this board are NVTA and MELI.

I will try to put together my limited knowledge on NVTA in the next week or 2. NVTA reports on 5/7, I will aim to post before that.

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, Saul.


Thanks so much MacIntTheBox. I’ll be looking for your post on NVTA. I know nothing about it.

Hi MacInTheBox:

You said: I will try to put together my limited knowledge on NVTA in the next week or 2.

In case you missed it, I posted a detailed Deep Dive regarding Invitae (NVTA) back in late February (Post #52033). You can access the post at the link below. The share price has had a h*ll of a run, up 70% since my first purchase in early February. This is a young company in a competitive area, but I have been impressed with their ability to significantly ramp up the range and volume of tests over the last couple of years, this coupled with bringing the COGS way down provides momentum to their goal to become the dominant whole life genetics company in the years ahead. Read more here:

I look forward to reading your thoughts!

Best, Swift…


My reflections on my investing as of Jan 2017 (the year that everything took off).

… That’s one of the cornerstone of my investing style: to be willing to change my mind and sell.

As a management consultant many years ago I was very interested in discovering the qualities that made superior managers. The ability to made decisions and act on them quickly turned out to be one of the, if not “the” top one.

A clothing retailer - subject to fads, high capital expenses, etc. etc.

With retailers it’s not so much what they sell but to whom they sell. The most steadfast retailers are the ones that cater to lower income consumers, off-price retailers. They don’t sell fads, they sell daily necessities. Compare Ross Stores (ROST) with other retailers.

BTW, same as you but later, I too decided against any investment involved any hardware. Quite simply, knowledge (information, intelligence) is the most valuable asset and that’s the best place to invest.

Denny Schlesinger