1) Being more active on Twitter reminds me of Ned Davis drawing a distinction between “Being right or making money.” If someone wants to be right, they should not be an investor. Wanting to have your opinions ratified by the market can be very expensive. Ego is the enemy.
2) Relevant to Twitter because now that I am posting my thoughts, I have to consciously fight against the desire to be “right.” Publicly stating an opinion makes it harder to change ones mind because of a wide variety of well known known biases (endowment, commitment, etc).
3) Super important to stay open minded, flexible and seek disconfirming evidence. I think this is one reason that various hedge fund managers started underperforming once they started doing 300 page slideshows and presenting at Sohn – they wanted to be “right.”
4) George Vanderheiden, a former colleague and one of the all time greats, said that PMs could change their mind in the dark of the night without anyone knowing, whereas analysts had to publicly admit they were “wrong” which was more difficult (being a PM easier in some ways).
5) I love the immediate feedback I get on Twitter – the real time fact checking, disagreement and additive/lateral thinking from thousands of people instantly sharpens and improves my ideas. But there are tradeoffs.
6) Have to always be humble and carefully balance conviction vs. flexibility. So am going to try to be even more careful to write about probabilities that are ever changing. Phrasing matters from a behavioral perspective. Ego is the enemy! In both investing and life.
7) And given my reference to Ryan Holiday's book, I will admit to loving the Stoics. Especially Epictetus. Interesting that Stoicism and Buddhism are similar in some essential ways.
You can follow @GavinSBaker.
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