the Contrary Investor


This blog represents the culmination of the last 10 years of my investing life. My first foray into “investing” came during high school when I cashed in my savings opened an etrade account, loaded up on tech stocks and promptly lost pretty much everything. Like most investors burned during the tech implosion of 2000 I shied away from market until I enrolled in college as a student in finance. In the interceding time I had become a diligent student of the business press, varciously consuming BusinessWeek, Fortune and CNBC “wisdom”. Despite knowing significantly more about business the results of my investing were remarkably similar to the earlier 2000 tech stock debacle. It slowly became apparent to me that prevailing wisdom and popular opinion are of little use when investing in the market.
In the search for a better way to invest money I consumed to works of Joel Greenblatt, Benjamin Graham, Warren Buffet and other value investors. With a cogent frame work for investing and extremely skeptical eye my investment performance improved. My passion for the markets has only increased over the years and I often find my self in heated debates with friends who do not share my contrarian market outlook. Finally I have decided to put my money where mouth is, to publish the performance of my portfolio and carefully explain the rationale behind my positions. Whether anyone decides to read this blog or not it will provide a more stringent process for my investment analysis.

A thought on contrarian investing:

“There is a very important difference between being a theoretical contrarian and dealing with it in practical terms. In order to win as a contrarian, you need the right timing and you have to put on a position in the appropriate size. If you do it too small it’s not meaningful; if you do it too big, you can get wiped out if your timing is slightly off. The process requires courage, commitment, and an understanding of your own psychology”

Michael Steinhardt

This is my religion

castanza.jpg This excerpt is from the Seinfeld episode which changed this humble investor’s life, I give you

The Opposie:

“Why did it all turn out like this for me? I had so much promise. I was personable. I was bright. Oh, maybe not academically speaking, but I was perceptive. I always know when someone’s uncomfortable at a party. It all became very clear to me sitting out there today, that every decision I’ve ever made in my entire life has been wrong. My life is the complete opposite of everything I want it to be. Every instinct I have in every aspect of life, be it something to wear, something to eat… It’s often wrong… I should do the opposite, I should….Yes, I will do the opposite. I used to sit here and do nothing, and regret it for the rest of the day, so now I will do the opposite, and I will do something!…..This has been the dream of my life ever since I was a child, and it’s all happening because I’m completely ignoring every urge towards common sense and good judgment I’ve ever had. This is no longer just some crazy notion. Jerry, this is my religion.”



  1. Greetings:

    Ok, I am impresed!

    Your website does not tell me Y/U/R in this – or did i miss it?

    How do i subscribe?



    Comment by d parni — August 8, 2007 @ 1:08 am

  2. Bragging rights, personal entertainment, discipline in my own investing and a track record if I ever decide to try and invest money professionally. The portfolio should be up and running by the end of the week. Just check back, things should get better.



    Comment by contraryinvestor — August 8, 2007 @ 2:31 am

  3. Thanks much for your lengthy comments and all the book references. I loved the humor. I’m looking forward to seeing more of what you have to say on Covestor.

    Comment by Don Bartell — August 21, 2007 @ 10:02 pm

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