November 17, 2011

A Question of Motive

How often have you heard some say "I don't question his (her) motives," and go to questions his (her) motives? If politicians come to mind, you are not alone.

Let's be frank. Frank: Investing is a binary game of life or death. If you are right, you win and live to invest another day. If you are wrong, you lose.

psst! ↑ Hyperbole.

Nevertheless, I think successful due diligence leading up to the initial investment decision, and as part of one's ongoing self-questioning to maintain or refute one's investment thesis, requires that we question motives.

Beyond what I believe are potentially debatable questions of competence, experience and industriousness -- one person's experience is another's inexperience -- I like to find out why company principals fundamentally are where they are.

"Because in either game - life or football - the margin for error is so small. I mean, one half a step too late or too early and you don't quite make it. One half second too slow, too fast and you don't quite catch it. The inches we need are everywhere around us. They're in every break of the game, every minute, every second. On this team we fight for that inch. On this team we tear ourselves and everyone else around us to pieces for that inch. We claw with our fingernails for that inch. Because we know when add up all those inches, that's gonna make the fucking difference between winning and losing! Between living and dying! I'll tell you this, in any fight it's the guy whose willing to die whose gonna win that inch. And I know, if I'm gonna have any life anymore it's because I'm still willing to fight and die for that inch, because that's what living is, the six inches in front of your face. Now I can't make you do it. You've got to look at the guy next to you, look into his eyes. Now I think ya going to see a guy who will go that inch with you. Your gonna see a guy who will sacrifice himself for this team, because he knows when it comes down to it your gonna do the same for him." (Tony D'Amato)

Do you think Peter Culpepper is will to fight and die for that inch? Google peter culpepper new york times. You'll find out what I believe is the answer to this question.

What about the others?

psst! ↑ Rhetorical.

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