The best learning I have experienced has come from interacting with others. While in the good old days you could have a long email chat with co-conspirators, in these days of Whatsapp and Twitter, who has time for all these anyways.
So, to get deeper discussions going I started a Slack Channel that was free for anyone and everyone to join exactly one year today. Free forums are tough to seed with conversations for since if one is not paying anything, one doesn’t find it imperative to be online and interact with other members.
If we wish to have medical advice, we don’t take one from anyone who professes to provide a view. If the advice asks for surgery, we would rather take a second and maybe even a third doctor’s advice even though each one of them will be similarly qualified.
When it comes to financial advice, anyone and sundry seem to be able to not just provide a view but influence the investment process of investors. To just sell medicines, one needs to pass a specific 3 year Bachelor Degree. To sell investment advice, all you need is to pass a couple of easy exams and voila, you are an expert.
But this is not new, this has been the case even before the existence of Social Media though the reach Social Media allows is something else. It’s tough for most, even professionals to cut through the noise to seek out the signal. One of the best ways is to discuss with like minded professionals.
But unless you are an employee in a large financial organization, that is not evidently possible. On Twitter, those who we seek cannot really be expected to answer every question of us. A 144 character response while interesting doesn’t add value either.
As I wrote in the introductory post, a lot of my learning came from interacting with others on a Yahoo Group Forum. While the Yahoo Groups is now dead, I wanted to recreate some of the magic that happened there once again.
The first year has been promising. While I was the only real poster for much of the first year on the Yahoo Groups (while also promoting it elsewhere), I am happy to see keen interest and involvement by quite a few guys. Thanks to Abhinav Mehrotra, Aakash, Anand, Ajay P, Kesav, Mahesh, Manish, Pradeep, Rakesh Arunachalam, SK Rahman among many others who have graciously spent time and effort to answer queries that frequently come up on the channels.
On Twitter, more the interaction, more the followers and more the visibility. It’s kind of dopamine that keeps us coming back over and over again and tweeting more and more. On private forums though, there are no rewards and that makes it even more generous. Messages such as these is what makes the day for me
Learning doesn’t happen in isolation other than for the really genius kind of guys. Books are a major help in learning from others but the ability to discuss and debate on something takes it to the next level.
While the idea and even today the objective of the forum was to have discussions on every sphere of the markets, much of the discussions have been with respect to Momentum Investing. I am not really surprised since not only is Momentum Investing having its best days in a long time but also the fact that there are no other forums (as far as I know) where you can discuss and debate the strategy.
The secret of Momentum is that there is no Secret. This is not a black box method that is proprietary in nature. The strategy is simple and open ended. What is more important than the strategy itself is the ability of one to trust the system rather than our views. Anand kind of made it more concise in what he learnt in the year
While the total membership is more than 800, around 200 on an average read the discussions and 50 to 60 participate regularly. If you wish to join this wonderful group, do click the following link and Join (if the link is no longer valid, please DM me on Twitter)
The returns of 2020 – 21 may not repeat in 2021 – 22 but I am pretty sure that the lessons one learnt will be valuable even in 2030 – 31.
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