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Tags: Gary Carmell | Philosophical Investor | Wisdom | Wealth

Learn From the Brilliance of Others but Also Your Own Successes – And Failures

Gary Carmell By Wednesday, 13 May 2015 06:55 PM Current | Bio | Archive

What do Charlie Munger, William Shakespeare, Bob Dylan, and Arthur Schopenhauer have to do with investing?

Quite a bit actually — at least for me.

And who am I?

I am Gary Carmell, a partner in a $3 billion-plus real-estate firm focused on the acquisition, development, and management of apartment communities. This is my inaugural post as a Newsmax Finance Insider.

I also just wrote a book called “The Philosophical Investor — Transforming Wisdom Into Wealth,” which delves deeply into many of my eclectic influences.

Through our real-estate investments, we can initiate change by how we allocate capital and the personnel we direct. This contrasts with most individual investors who can only do so by buying and selling securities. This is an important distinction because liquidity creates enormous options and yet this can also come at a cost since by easily being able to get in and out of investments we are also at great risk of being led by our own insidious and powerful forces of fear and greed.

This can lead to suboptimal decisions in which we often find ourselves buying at the top and selling at the bottom.

At my company, CWS Capital Partners LLC, we like to say "we help save people from themselves." A colleague updated this recently when he said we are "saving one investor at a time through illiquidity."

While it is much harder to access one's capital in direct real-estate investments, it also tends to force one to take a much longer perspective and a more thoughtful evaluation of an opportunity before making an investment.

This allows for a more reflective approach rather than an emotionally driven, reactive one. Taming our emotions and tapping into our intuition and intellect can greatly improve one’s odds of success in investing as well as in life.

Our long-term investment success requires that we pay close attention to powerful economic, social, and demographic trends. Understanding where people want to live and why and what the alternatives are is very important for us when evaluating the risk and reward of various opportunities.

We must be particularly cognizant of interest rate trends as well since we are big borrowers and real-estate values are highly influenced by borrowing costs. I will write about some of these important topics in future posts.

Kierkegaard said that "life can only be understood backwards; but must be lived forwards."

What I have come to understand as I approach 50 that can help me live forward? Intelligent investing can lead to intelligent living and that true wealth goes far beyond the financial realm.

The Philosophical Investor learns from the brilliance of others while also making sure he learns from his successes — and his failures.

To quote General George Patton, "The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his."

Successful investing and a life well lived first require we avoid catastrophic error. Once we can tame our reactionary, instinctive selves then we can capture the upside by learning to be more thoughtful and responsive human beings.

I hope you will find what I have to share in future posts to be interesting, thought provoking, engaging, and even a bit entertaining from time to time.

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The Philosophical Investor learns from the brilliance of others while also making sure he learns from his successes and, particularly, his failures.
Gary Carmell, Philosophical Investor, Wisdom, Wealth
Wednesday, 13 May 2015 06:55 PM
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