The Power of Stoic Thinking

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The Power of Stoic Thinking

The Stoics were not opposed to emotion in general but to negative emotions such as fear, anger, and grief — what sensible person wouldn’t be? They saw nothing at all wrong, though, with the experience of positive emotions. Indeed, they strove to put themselves into a state of mind in which they could take delight in the world around them. William Irvine

In the preface of The Intelligent Investor, Buffett wrote that to invest successfully over a lifetime, one need not have a high IQ, unusual business insights or inside information. What is needed more is a sound intellectual framework for decision making and the ability to control emotions from affecting that framework. Understanding this, achieving such a mindset is easier said than done. We have provided a couple of essential reads for investors interested in stoicism, a philosophy founded in early 3rd century B.C. For those wanting a easier and lighter read, I would recommend starting with Leithner’s letters.

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Key Books:

Seneca: Letters from a Stoic

Epictetus: Enchiridion

Marcus Aurelius: Meditations: A New Translation

Lighter Reads

Leithner Letters: Part 1 | Part 2

Deeper Reads

Seneca: Moral Essays Vol. 1 | Moral Essays Vol. 2 | Moral Essays Vol. 3

Epictetus: The Discourses of Epictetus – The Handbook

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I developed my passion for investment management especially equity research at a relatively young age. My investment journey began when I was 20, at a point in time where markets were still recovering from the Global Financial Crisis. My portfolio started from money I saved over the past years and through working during the holidays. I was fortunate to have a good friend with common investing mentality to began my journey towards value investing. To date, we still research and invest in companies together, discussing valuations and potential risks of a company. To date, I manage a fund with a value investing style. Positions are decided upon via a bottom-up approach or smart speculation (a term I came up with when buying a stock for quick profit due to a mismatch in prices in the market due to takeovers/selling of a subsidiary or associate). Apart from managing my own portfolio, I enjoy sharing my research with family and friends, seeking their opinions and views towards the stock. Reading Economics in London, I constantly keep up with the financial news in Singapore & Hong Kong. Despite my busy schedule, it has not stopped me from enjoying other aspects of life. I enjoy a variety of activities in whatever free time I may have – endurance running, marathons, traveling, fine dining, whiskey appreciation, fashion. Lastly, I enjoy meeting new people, discussing ideas and gaining new perspectives towards issues in the world.

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