Mr. Loeb promoted a contrarian view of the market as too risky to hold stocks for the long term in direct contrast to many of his generation.
At the time, many considered Loeb’s comments heresy to the buy and hold doctrine so common among many in the industry. While Loeb never had the opportunity to trade in an environment now ruled by quants, algorithmic trading and massive government intervention, his wisdom and insight is still applicable in today’s environment. After all, the more things change, the more they always stay the same!
Based on his two books, here are 15 fundamentals Loeb argues that you need to understand to win the battle not only against yourself, but also against the market:
01. What everyone else knows is not worth knowing.
02. Stocks are always way overvalued in a bull market and way undervalued in a bear market.
03. The best stocks will always seem overpriced to the majority of investors.
04. Expectation, not the news itself, is what moves the market.
05. Three basis elements should be considered when evaluating a stock – 1) quality (fundamentals, liquidity, management), 2) price, and 3) trend (the most important).
06. Stocks act like human beings and go through the same stages and phases as people do, including infancy, growth, maturity, and decline. The key in trading is to be able to recognize which stage the stock is in and to take advantage of that opportunity.
07. Pyramid your buys – start with an initial position and then add to it only if the trade moves in your favor.
08. The more experienced and successful you become, the less you should diversify.
09. Traders must always resist the urge and temptation to change their strategies for each and every different market cycle.
10. To succeed in trading you must 1) aim high, 2) control the risks, 3) be unafraid to keep uninvested reserves and 4) be patient.
11. Successful traders are intelligent, they understand human psychology, they practice pure objectivity, and they have natural quickness.
12. You must always trade with the actions of the market and not simply by how you might think the market should trade.
13. Knowledge through experience is one trait that separates successful stock market speculators from everyone else.
14. The stock market is more an art than a science and far more complex than most people understand.
15. Always sell when you start patting yourself on the back for being smarter than the market.
In reflecting upon these 15 fundamentals, ask yourself the following question: