So, we’ve not yet put in our garden. We know…we know…we’re behind. Well, in some people’s opinions we are behind. But there are other things we focus on when we’re not tending to our garden. One of those things is…investing. Yep, we’re a tiny little coalition of investors (all two of us) called the Beaver Mountain Investments Group. Yeah – it’s a totally informal group, but we’re a feisty (tiny) bunch (can two people constitute a ‘bunch’?) focused on making money work for us. Admittedly, we’re a pretty new little investment coalition. But, we’re learning a TON very rapidly.
How does it work? Well, it works like this. Ladianne gets up early (as usual), gets her cup of coffee, and starts researching like a MANIAC. Sheri gets up slightly later, shuffles in, gets her coffee, and we sit on the couch together. Then, the board meeting starts. We talk about what’s going on in the world. We talk about what kinds of products we LOVE (and hate). We talk about different services industries. We check to see if certain companies are publicly traded or privately held. We take a look at our funds, discuss our short and long term goals, and decide what stock(s) to buy (if any).
We don’t have much money invested at this point, but we have a little. It’s not money from our operating funds. It’s not our savings. It’s SEPARATE money – money we have decided we can afford invest. Anyway, we’re amassing a list of investing guidelines we follow (and will continue to follow). We keep in mind that NEVER and ALWAYS are dangerous (and misleading) terms. So, we try not to use them. But, generally, we try to stick to our guns. Here are a few of our guidelines -
1. We don’t invest money we need to live on.
2. We are patient. Impatience is expensive. (But so is sloth…)
3. We invest in the most responsible stocks/companies we can.
4. We don’t buy the stock of companies we can’t stand to do business with. We won’t name names, but if we refuse to shop there, we won’t buy the stock.
5. Stocks are tied to money, businesses, and…human beings. How are the companies treating people? How are workers paid and cared for? Do we agree with the companies’ practices?
6. We keep ourselves current on world events. We understand that investing isn’t a perfect science and that we have to continue to discuss what’s going on in the world in order to make investment decisions that are in line with our values.
7. We understand that things change. Just because that company is awesome today doesn’t mean they’ll be awesome tomorrow. We try our best to remain aware.
8. We know there’s the ideal…and then there’s reality. We try our hardest to remain as close to our ideals as possible, but we understand there’s no such thing as perfect.
9. We pay attention to human beings. Companies are driven by human need. And greed. We pay attention to the rhythms of humanity. We pay attention to our own lives and habits. We understand that we’re aiming for averages here – that not everyone is the same. But we try to be responsible investors whose decisions are driven by sound judgement based on all available evidence – and, our intuitive and logical responses to that evidence.
9. We have fun. Seriously – we do. Sometimes we come across some company we think is AWESOME and their stock is ridonculously high! Well, we dream a little. We won’t go into debt buying stock, but we definitely spend some dream time on some of the stocks out there.
OK - it ain’t farming, but it is a growth-oriented thing we’re doing here.
By the way, grandpa’s seeds are doing GREAT! Huh- I guess most things do grow with time, care, attention, and patience. Yep… There’s alot to learn from the garden, isn’t there??