It has taken me several years to understand that part of the key to conviction, and staying focused on your long-term investing goals is realizing that your conviction, in many cases, will be tested. The market often does not reward your conviction with even the slightest acknowledgement by way of a small stock price increase. The stock market is cold hearted and does not care about your conviction or timelines, and may mock you and continually test your conviction by trying to convince you that have made the wrong decision.
That is, you may buy a stock at $12 and it trades for three to four years (or longer) between $10 and $12, and your conviction waivers. Then, suddenly, that stock finds market acceptance - be it through a significant transaction for the company, an analyst starting coverage, or just that sector becoming the flavour of the year with no underlying change to the company. Waiting out the stock market to have your convictions confirmed is often the hardest aspect of investing, as timing and conviction don’t often seem to converge.
An interesting sidebar to investment conviction, at least in my case, is that it has revealed a personality flaw. For someone who is typically not jealous or envious of others and open to discuss stocks I own, I have noted I have some resentment towards people when I know they have purchased a stock and received the same absolute dollar gain in two months that took me five years to achieve. It is not the monetary gain that causes this resentment, but the fact they did not have to suffer in the trenches with the same doubts and stress and persevere like I did - especially where the stock has been volatile, or had downward pressure. I know this is very small of me and I should just be satisfied my conviction proved correct, but I know others that feel the same way. I wonder if any of my readers have the same feelings, or is the fact your conviction proved correct satisfaction enough?
I return to Mr. Buffett to conclude, “With each investment you make you should have the courage and conviction to place at least 10% of your net worth in that stock.”
The blogs posted on The Blunt Bean Counter provide information of a general nature. These posts should not be considered specific advice; as each reader's personal financial situation is unique and fact specific. Please contact a professional advisor prior to implementing or acting upon any of the information contained in one of the blogs.