7 Comments

Love the takeaway in this piece. Absolutely critical investors understand their own abilities. I have a fairly limited wheelhouse, but nonetheless make an effort to study assets outside of it. So many times I've come across considerations similar to this example of power availability. There's countless of them, all over the world. Very hard to appreciate them unless you see them firsthand.

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Thoughtful piece. My immediate reaction was to be reminded of why Buffett and Munger (and really most great investors) think of themselves as learning machines. Much like the sports gambler who learns the game better in an effort to gain an edge -- and thus enjoys that sport all the more, investing is a wonderful motivation to learn about nearly everything, which ought to make one a better investor or at least make one a more interesting and thoughtful person. Thanks for letting me tag along as you engage in the process. It's been a joy to watch.

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a few pretty obvious factors make (for me ) a African tower company nonviable.

The stock price in the US has benefited from ultra cheap debt funding

Africa has no such benefit

Infrastructure costs more to build there due to climate, lack of existing infrastructure and political risks.

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Great article. This has historically been my biggest issue in investing. I think every investor must have their own set of "issues" and this is top of my list!

For example, I hear other investors say they struggle to sell losers - for me that's no issue at all - once my thesis is proved wrong I have no issue selling.

But this issue still gets me, but thankfully in much smaller portfolio weighting in recent times! Thank you for the article.

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Fantastic point about applying our own bias to companies / products. Works the other way as well. I remember completely writing off Snapchat when it first came out because I wasn’t someone who took a lot of pictures or enjoyed communicating via disappearing messages. Quickly humbled myself in the years to follow.

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I understand your perspective. As a European, I find great European companies at good prices, so I am attracted to them, but I am concerned about the negatives of European countries in terms of demographics and GDP growth. (I also have some Japanese stocks).

Therefore, I use Emerging markets to have completely uncorrelated assets to Europe, and which benefit in a scenario where Europe declines due to lack of resources or growth. Africa has power cuts, it's negative, but it's also positive, as large capital expenditure will be needed.

I also travelled to Africa a few times and met a person earning a "bad currency" but rich enough that he could buy luxury goods in hard currencies. That opened my eyes. I know some places have terrible challenges but there is still money to earn.

I could invest in the US but the valuations are not attractive to me. The US on the other hand is stronger fundamentally in terms of resources and demographics so the need to invest abroad is less.

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