Re: Investments

Max More (
Mon, 26 May 1997 09:50:48 -0700

At 08:55 AM 5/26/97 -0700, Peter wrote:
> (Max More) writes:
>>Of course, but if you don't yet have enough money to diversify, the next
>>best thing is to pick one very safe stock. Given the markets still opening
>>to Coca Cola, I think it's a very safe bet. I intend to hold the stock for
>>many years.
> This basic idea makes sense, but it is important to base your belief
>that it's a safe bet on something other than what other investors are
>currently thinking, or you will generally end up buying fads. Personal
>knowledge of the quality of a company's product/service/technology is
>usually the right kind of approach to picking safe long-term investments.
> Your attitude towards Coca Cola sounds more like something you have
>picked up from popular investment ideas rather than independent analysis.

It sounds like you are making assumptions. I chose Coca Cola because I am
reasonably familiar with the management and the major changes they made
several years ago, and because I have discussed the company with those who
know much about it and have been convinced that it has long-term growth
still ahead of it.

The same (only more so) would have been true if I had bought Microsoft,
which I certainly would have done if its stock hadn't been at an all-time
high (though still a good value). I know more about Microsoft, how it's run
and its markets, than I know about any other company. With almost any other
company, your comment would be correct -- I know too little about
practically any other company to base an investment decision on it (rather
than simply a gamble). Apart from two or three companies, my knowledge is
such that I would buy a broad index fund rather than individual company
stocks. (If I could afford it, I might make an exception for Berkshire
Hathaway, but then that would be like buying several companies....)


Max More, Ph.D.
Author: The Augmented Animal (Forthcoming: HardWired, 1998)
President, Extropy Institute, Editor, Extropy,
(310) 398-0375
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