How these client emails help the investment process
What purposes are served by these notes to clients? We write to make clear what we are thinking, both to our clients and ourselves. During informal conversations in the office, we are constantly testing ideas, and asking questions, so these notes are the refined version of those conversations.
We all read a lot—purchased research, newspapers, blogs, and books. Writing down our thoughts helps us to crystallize the ideas that come at us from multiple sources.
There’s nothing like writing complete sentences to expose an idea as silly or something unimportant. The stuff we discard between the notes that are published form a trash heap of half-baked ideas and conclusions not reached.
All of these notes, the ones you see as well as the ones you don’t, also serve as a record of what we were thinking at certain turning points in the market or when we made certain investments. Being reminded of what we said at certain times is one way to keep us humble.
These emails allow clients to stay informed about our ideas and provide them the chance to challenge them. Questions help us weed out the good ideas from the bad—so keep them coming.
So we’re lucky. We are paid to read, learn, and explain ourselves to an attentive audience. In between, we use what we learn to make decisions that we hope will benefit our clients financially.
So we invite readers to tell us when we’re wrong or unclear, but even more important tell us if we’re boring. That would be worse than being wrong.
Daniel A. Ogden