Ask These Two Questions to Get the Investing Results You Want

Doc's note: No single investment philosophy is the best fit for all investors. That's why, today, my colleague and Extreme Value analyst Mike Barrett details two questions you need to ask yourself to find the right investment strategy.

For almost 40 years, the Golden State Warriors were one of the NBA's perennial laughingstocks...

The Warriors let future Hall of Fame coaches slip through their fingers... They traded away future All-Stars for players who went bust... And they squandered numerous draft picks. It's not hard to see why owner Joe Lacob was ridiculed when, after purchasing the team in 2010, he said the goal was to win a championship within five years.

But it turns out, Lacob got the last laugh... Golden State won the title in 2015, 2017, and 2018. And it's the odds-on favorite to win it all again this season.

What caused this abrupt change in fortunes? It wasn't luck...

And it turns out, investors can take an important lesson from Golden State's rise from mediocrity to greatness. It involves two simple ways you can set yourself up for success in the markets.

Let me show you what I mean...

Two moves explain much of the Warriors' incredible turnaround.

First, Lacob hired executives with championship pedigrees...

In 2011, shortly after buying the team, Lacob successfully recruited three new key executives: Jerry West, Bob Myers, and Rick Welts. West and Myers played on championship teams. Welts was the director of public relations when Seattle won its only NBA title in 1979.

Wisely, the Warriors used their high draft picks in 2011 and 2012 to add three players who would later become key members of the 2015 title team.

The three executives were also instrumental in hiring head coach Steve Kerr in 2014. Kerr had won five NBA titles as a player. During his first season as coach, Kerr brought Golden State its first championship in four decades.

That brings me to the second move that was instrumental to the Warriors' success...

Kerr didn't come in with some preconceived, utopian notion of what would work best for any team. Instead, he crafted a game plan that was an ideal fit for this specific team.

Coaches in sports at every level come and go all the time. Much of their failure can be traced to a single root cause: The system that worked well for them in the past simply didn't translate into success for their latest team.

Kerr turned this approach on its head... After extensively studying the strengths of every player on the team, he built an offensive scheme that was a great fit for their top attributes.

These two examples get to the heart of the matter. If you're not getting the investment results you want, you need to ask yourself the following two questions...

1. Am I really using the right investment strategies for me?
2. Am I relying on the right investment research for those strategies?

Let's start with the first question...

Aswath Damodaran is a finance professor at New York University's Stern School of Business. He's one of the brightest investing minds you've likely never heard of. And like Kerr, he knows how important it is to develop a strategy that makes the most sense for you.

Here are some words of wisdom from his recent interview with Forbes...

I tell people that the person you have to understand best to be a good investor is yourself. It's not enough to understand what Warren Buffett does and [what] Peter Lynch does. It might surprise people, [but] I spend very little time reading investment books...

We live in a Google Search world. People think that if they search long enough, they can [find] answers to their questions, when in fact what they need to do is to stop and think about the questions and think through their answers.

We need to own our own investment philosophies. We need to think through what we think about markets.

Which means I spend a lot more time with the Wall Street Journal and reading the news of today and trying to figure out why companies are doing what they're doing rather than focusing on what other people think about companies. Or what other people think about investing.

In short, no single investment philosophy is the best fit for all investors.

What works for Warren Buffett won't necessarily work for you or me.

For instance, in a November DailyWealth essay, I mentioned that my friend Neil is retiring a wealthy man because he had the right temperament to be a long-term, "buy and hold" investor.

This approach requires extraordinary patience and discipline. You need the stomach to buy when everyone else is selling. If you're impatient or inclined to worry about taking losses, this approach is unlikely to work for you. You might have more success with a trend-following strategy that relies on stop losses.

Now, ask yourself if you're relying on the right research for your investment strategies...

Sports team owners usually make their fortunes doing other things. Lacob is a partner with venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins. Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer is the former CEO of Microsoft.

These guys can't possibly know everything they need to in order to make crucial (and often highly complex) personnel decisions at this level... so they hire others who possess the knowledge and experience to advise them.

Individual investors often find themselves in the same situation. They're busy with running a business or raising a family. They don't have the time (or the desire) to do in-depth investment research, so they hire others – like Stansberry Research – to do it for them.

Once you've decided what strategies are best suited for you, the next step is to identify which research services best fit those strategies.

Lucky for you, we have a resource on our website to help you do just that. On our Products and Services page, scroll down and click on "What's your investing style?"

Doing so gives you a short quiz to help you see where you fall among different investment strategies (i.e. Dividend Investing or Options Trading), themes (i.e. Low Risk or High-Return Potential), and market sectors (i.e. Consumer Staples, Industrials, or Utilities).

Check the boxes that meet your preferred strategies, click "Apply," and it generates a list of Stansberry Research publications that meet those criteria.

As you'll discover, knowing your personal investing style is just the first step. Are you most interested in making steady income for retirement, boosting your capital gains, or finding opportunity in macro trends?

Different techniques will get you closer to your individual goals. So make sure you're using the tools and ideas that suit you best.

Good investing,

Mike Barrett

Editor's note: Mike and his colleague Dan Ferris follow a specific investing approach in Extreme Value – and it could yield incredible results in the next market cycle. At similar times, Dan turned up opportunities that led to spectacular 490%, 248%, and 410% gains. And over the long haul, he says his favorite idea today could do even better...