The Joyous Life of an Investor

2019-11-13

I don’t know about you, but I really like acronyms.

FOBO (Fear Of Better Options) and FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out).  Having done some research on these 2 acronyms, I have come to realise that they are the 24/7 bread & butter biz of an equity investor.  As a fund manager, am I confronted daily/nightly by this anguish? You bet I am!

The FOBO/FOMO combination is for me the permanent fear of backing the wrong horse and being stuck with a “value trap” in the Fund, while other stocks are skyrocketing, not to mention the concern as to what/how FCI (Friendly Competitors Incorporated) is doing/performing!

Let’s delve in and ask Wikipedia!

“Fear of missing out, or FOMO, is a pervasive apprehension that others might be having rewarding experiences from which one is absent. This social anxiety is characterized by a desire to stay continually connected with what others are doing. A psychological dependence to being online could result in anxiety when one feels disconnected, thereby leading to a fear of missing out or even pathological internet use. As a consequence, FOMO is perceived to have negative influences on people's psychological health and well-being because it could contribute to people's negative mood and depressed feelings.”

According to a study by Eventbrite, 69% of millennials experience FOMO when they can't attend something that their family or friends are attending. "For millennials, FOMO is not just a cultural phenomenon, it's an epidemic" the report reads. The survey polled nearly 2,100 adults, 507 of whom were millennials aged 18 to 34. While it sounds like an infectious disease, FOMO has helped create a booming industry focused on live events. Three out of four millennials would rather spend money on experiences, like concerts, festivals, sports or parties, instead of buying tangible products. Not all negative after all!

However, it appears that FOMO is being replaced by JOMO.  Another survey of more than 2,200 people across the UK found that 78% of millennials actively engage in JOMO (Joy Of Missing Out), at the expense of socializing with friends and taking up new activities. If this is a consequence of BS (Brexit Saga, what else!), the study doesn’t say! These statistics mark a significant shift in millennials’ priorities, with over half (51%) of those surveyed viewing time on their own as important to their happiness, compared with less than a third (30%) who believe time with friends is as essential.

That’s enough delving! Swelling plethora of being online!

As a value investor, I like spending time on my own and making my own (hopefully good!) investment decisions, like the small majority of UK millennials.  And that’s why, over the last 12 years, I’ve enjoyed, not so much the JOMO, but the JOBO (Joy Of Being Offline).

“Look within. Be still. Free from fear and attachment. Know the sweet joy of the way.”

As a “pilgrim” of long-term value investing, I subscribe to that quote.