What makes it all worthwhile?

What makes it all worthwhile?

I do get discouraged at times, and it’s awfully nice to get some encouragement. Here are a few emails I received in the past few days. I won’t bother you with all of them. They warmed my heart and I really appreciated them.
Saul

Hi Saul, I wanted to thank you for your continuing patience in sharing your views on investing. I’ve been following the recent discussions on DDOG, ESTC, and MDB. I see in these discussions (and in the past) how trying it must sometimes get dealing with the criticism and personal attacks. I’m glad you still share your views in spite of the challenges. Four years after I first found your discussion board I’m still learning from your bits of wisdom! It has been a truly life changing experience, learning such a clear and easily understood view on investing.
Thank you!

Saul, Hang in there, my friend. Ignore the stupid character attacks. Those of us who have been a part of your board since its inception see this stuff for what it is. And put me down as one who deeply appreciates you and am deeply indebted to all the years of sharing you have freely given to this board.

Hi Saul, You teach, you preach, and then as always in life, get a knife stuck stuck somewhere in the rib cage, and as Dreamer and others have not had the benefit of gains from $28 to now on the Datadog and therefore totally missed out, he starts the usual flaming.

I don’t post as much anymore as I seriously think many don’t understand what you are saying… fwiw I did buy a bunch of DDOG shares at $28 and just sold two-thirds 15 minutes ago… more than happy. If it runs on great, if not fine…

My portfolio now just shy of 70% returns for the year. However this was mostly simply my instinct in holding on to a large Apple allocation. You advised me some time ago to let go. I didn’t listen but I listened to everything else, and it’s made me a better investor. As always, my best to you.

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Glad to hear it’s still worthwhile for you, Saul, because I treasure what we’ve built here. This board is a huge source of value. Still, often people seem to misunderstand the board. I’ve heard it said a time to many that 1) no one is allowed to disagree with Saul, or that 2) the opinions of some posters are ignored.

I have very little patience for these arguments because:

  1. You’re actually encouraged to disagree with Saul. This is “Saul’s Investing Discussions.” Not, “come listen like sheep to everything Saul says.” In fact, if you’re not disagreeing sometimes, you’re probably not bringing a whole lot of value to the board.

  2. Don’t come here expecting a “service” that Saul runs. If you want to participate here, and if you want your ideas to be respected, expect to earn it.

This board is free, but we can pay our admission with our contributions to it. We will disagree, people will say things that we don’t like, and feelings will get hurt. That’s just life. But the investing discussions we have here can make us all better investors. Isn’t that worth dealing with people who sometimes rub you the wrong way?

Saul, and everyone who adds value here, thanks for keeping on keeping on.

Bear

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And a few more:

Hey Saul - I’ve been here at MF for some time and generally don’t post to your board… But wanted to say a heartfelt THANKS for all you do and for sharing your thoughts and experiences. It has been illuminating for me as an investor and as a person… I appreciate the way you handle disagreements, I don’t know why everyone cannot do the same…sadly that’s how most of society is now with differing opinions! Anyway, before I stray too far off topic, just wanted say thank you thank you thank you, please don’t take those insults/comments to heart, you’re better than that! Hang in there!

Saul I almost never post. I just dont have the acumen to add anything of substance… In the one or two times I have mailed you it was to encourage you to run a very tight board. I dont want ANYTHING to disrupt the value of what I get by coming here. You and others here do such valuable legwork and allow me to assess its value for my personal gain. THANK YOU! I dont take you as a person who needs his ego stroked or his email cluttered. Please know that myself and likely many others are in the shadows and full of unspoken appreciation. I hope this finds you. I refuse to clutter up your board with ANYTHING not laser focused on our success.

Just wanted to say thanks for all you have done. The naysayers are just that. Some people like to hear themselves speak. Some like to point out every misstep of others who are more successful. And others…well others just like to argue.

Your board, the knowledge I’ve gained and the success I’ve had since joining less than two years ago are a bell weather in the turbulent storm that is my current life. The success I’ve had (up 75% at one point this year, 43% right now) has given me the confidence that financially, I will be just fine during my retirement years which are anywhere from 10-15 years away depending on just how well my portfolio performs over that time period. Knowing that I’ve accumulated an above average base for a 44 y/o who still has plenty of good working years left imparts a sense of security and boldness to perhaps take some chances with my career…or a new career quite frankly. …

To bring it all back to the beginning, I wanted to thank you for all that you do and all that I have learned. The skillset that I’ve learned on this board has allowed my portfolio to flourish and my stomach to become made of iron in periods when there seems to be no end to the plummet of our stocks. It has given me the confidence that collectively there is market trouncing potential in what this board seeks to accomplish and the businesses we invest in. And the results to date have given me security to reasonably expect that my future will be financially solid. It allows me to dream and act on pulling a 180 on my career path and get down to a purpose that is fulfilling for me and has an impact on others.

Saul, I’m sure you’re getting lots of side/non-forum responses, but I wanted to add mine to this one. I think there’s been enough snarky-ness to go around on all sides, but you are RIGHT to hold the line on Dreamer. He single-handedly killed the NPI board ,and more or less made Tinker disappear for months with this same approach, and it feels like he’s doing the same here…… As I and others have said, thank you for the info, the board, the discussion, and the time I know you put into it.

Thanks to all of you.

Saul

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Saul, as you are well aware, I have posted my gratitude to you more than once as a private email. This one is public.

What you have created through your generosity has literally changed my life. It has significantly improved my life and the lives of my loved ones. Even though everything can rapidly change (and it has since the end of July), I remain far more financially secure than I was only a few years ago.

Yes, there are occasional detractors, people who apparently post simply in order to be antagonistic. It’s hard to understand what the motivation for this might be. May be due to some deep seated insecurity, but it’s hardly worthwhile or beneficial to analyze from afar. They show up and continue the negative stream until invited to leave. As you’ve often pointed out no one is forced to read this board. If the only contribution one has is to denigrate the content, really they should just move on.

I continue to learn and materially benefit from you and the other brilliant investors you have attracted. The disagreements that arise which are based on fundamental analysis of the companies financial performance and product offerings is welcome by you and I am sure most other regulars. When people advance an intelligent and well reasoned argument it is beneficial to all.

The disagreements that arise or turn into personal attacks certainly don’t add anything of value. The attacks are detrimental to the conversation and the general respect shown by most everyone who posts here. An occasional slip up, born of frustration is not beneficial, but most often excusable. A constant unrelenting stream of negativity has no place here. It is unfortunate that you and the other folks you have recruited to serve as board monitors need to keep track of this behavior. As a board monitor, you have the thankless task of keeping a scorecard on it. I have thanked you for sharing your knowledge and insights. I have been negligent in thanking you for diligence in maintaining the quality and respectfulness of the posts on this board. But keeping the basic spirit of sharing with no expectations beyond the communal benefits of participation is what keeps this board available and beneficial. I deeply appreciate your efforts in this regard.

Thank you, Saul. Thank you very much.

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Yes, there are occasional detractors, people who apparently post simply in order to be antagonistic. It’s hard to understand what the motivation for this might be. May be due to some deep seated insecurity, but it’s hardly worthwhile or beneficial to analyze from afar. They show up and continue the negative stream until invited to leave. As you’ve often pointed out no one is forced to read this board. If the only contribution one has is to denigrate the content, really they should just move on.

Brittlerock I have also learned from your posts as well. So thank you. But to put this into a different perspective, there are many other ways that a sharp edged post might find its way onto the board when the intent is NOT to be antagonistic, snarky, rude, snide, sarcastic or anything else like that.

Sometimes well-meaning people get in a hurry and hit send before reading and editing as much as they should.

Sometimes a question is not meant to be challenging as much as it is a quest for more information. If someone writes “how do you figure that?” Maybe they just want help with the math.

Sometimes words are ambiguous. I bet in person a poster might say “why would you think that?? I obviously meant this.”

I think it benefits everyone online, not just in this community but also on Facebook and in private emails, to assume the intent is good rather than mean-spirited.

My step daughter had one of her friends say something really rude to her on Facebook. Her response was, “Come on, IT’S FACEBOOK! I know she is my friend regardless of what’s on Facebook.” Many years later they still are. I also bet neither one of them remember what was said.

Tranquilo amigos.

Jeb

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Did I miss something?

Seems much of the hullabaloo was about the valuation of DDOG and whether future stock gains are muted with such a high valuation.

Two worthy points:

  1. A little gain in DDOG post earnings is not going to make anyone rich. The stock opened at $37.5 when it first went public and now sits at $40.6. Even if you timed the lows, other stocks have gained substantially as well and you still sit in a ordinary tax situation until you hold a year…anything could happen in that time. But many were on this stock well before its IPO and those that bought in at the open are up minimally.

  2. I still track the tech portfolios here from “low valuation” to “mid” to “high valuation” and how they have done over the past 2 years. Results are 35%, 62% and 101% respectively. This again supports what Saul is saying…that valuation may not be the prime consideration for these growth stocks. Perhaps the disagreements arise because of what appears to be inconsistent investment strategies…a growth investor invests for growth…a value investor invests for value…these two elements probably don’t mix very well as the portfolio results above suggest…growth has trumped valuation considerations…period.

I will also throw out that I also track a portfolio of these same tech stocks that theoretically bought each ONLY when their P/S first hit 20 or higher (hypervalued)……who in their right mind would by such hypervalued stocks?? The timeframe obviously varied by when each hit that benchmark but most did it within the past 2 years. That portfolio is up 37%…so holding these hypervalued stocks did NOT seem to cause devastation to total portfolio…again supporting what Saul is saying.

Lastly, I would argue that the DDOG post earnings gains are but spit in the wind and prove nothing. The far greater observation is the year after year after year gains in Saul’s portfolios…that cannot be luck…it just can’t.

But the DDOG argument has morphed into a battle over irrelevance in comparison to annual portfolio gains. I hope everyone can move on from this defensive topic and that Saul can forget about having to defend or prove anything…the year after year results need no further clarification in that regard.

Best:
Duma

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FWIW… i am on TMF due to Saul’s board… in fact it is number one source of ideas, information and learning for me on investment… and now it seems on managing a public forum as well!

Please keep it up Saul…

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I’ve been investing for a long time with OK results. I’ve been retired now nearly 20 years. I have never come across anything so well put together and useful as Saul’s investment discussions. Excelsior.

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