Portland, Oregon If you looked up failed investor in the dictionary, James Hopewell’s picture would show up. James Hopewell, 33, is your typical thirty something year-old. James has been married to his college sweetheart, Rebecca, for 5 years. The young couple has a toddler named Gavin. And they recently purchased their first house. Everything is fine and dandy in James world. Except one thing. He is an unintelligent investor. I’ve read The Intelligent Investor 20 times,”James stated. But no matter how many times I have read that book, I’m still a very dumb investor.
James started managing his own portfolio a few years ago. It started off well. I was putting my money into these index funds and making a decent return each year.
Everything was going well until one summer afternoon when James stumbled upon a dusty book in a local bookstore.
My wife and I go to this local bookstore once a week and buy a new book to read, James said. When I found this book it changed my life.
James found the book, The Intelligent Investor written by Benjamin Graham that mid-summer afternoon. This book drastically changed his life.
I thought I landed on a gold mine when I found that book,” James said. I wish I knew now what I didn’t know then.”
James immediately began to read the book. “Ah, margin of safety and something about bonds,” James would mumble in his head. “Ah, buying $USO call puts with massive leverage makes you look incredibly brilliant,” James continued.
The Intelligent Investor For Rich (Smart) Or Poor (Dumbs)?
James read The Intelligent Investor over and over. “I read that book over 20 times,” James stated. “You would think I would have become a very intelligent investor on my 21st time through the book but I didn’t.”
Instead of becoming an intelligent investor James actually became an unintelligent investor.
“I don’t know what is wrong with me, but I have lost all of my money not once, but five times in the past year,” James stated.
James said he understands the principals The Intelligent Investor teaches but he can’t seem to put them in practice. “I can’t help myself,” James said. “I’ll see a really bad investment like going long newspapers or shorting Microsoft and I’ll just go all in on leverage It’s really pathetic when you really think about it.”
James said he isn’t going to quit yet. There is one more investment that he is hoping will pay off and big time. “I mortgaged my house and went all in on $USO. I’m 100% confident I read in The Intelligent Investor that Graham said the best way to make money is to mortgage your house and go all in a derivative ETF of oil.”
James is currently on his 25th time through The Intelligent Investor and plans to read the book at least 10 more times this year. “I think I’ll become an intelligent investor this time through the book. I have a good feeling about it.”