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How You Can Learn About Investing By Sitting On Your Bum And Watching TV

Many people will tell you that if you want to learn about investing, you should read more. However, I do understand that reading might not be for everyone.

Authors Walter Barbe, Raymond Swassing and Michael Milone showed in the 1970s that people can be classified into three main types of learners: audible learners, visual learners, and kinesthetic Learners. The first group, the audible learners, learn mainly through listening to others. Meanwhile, the visual learners need to see how things are done to truly understand a new topic. And as for the kinesthetic learners, they can only learn through experimentation and by actually performing the task.

So, for the visual learners, I would like to show you how you might be able to learn more about investing by sitting on your bum and – get this – watching TV.

I have been watching a series called “Shark Tank for a while now. It is a reality show where entrepreneurs pitch their business to a panel of multi-millionaires and billionaires in the hopes of having them invest in their businesses.

The show is really interesting to me because at the end of each presentation, the panel will ask questions about the businesses and through that, we get insight into the panelists’ thought processes on how they evaluate a business.

It is also interesting because most of the businesses are still privately owned, thus we get a sense of how the entrepreneurs and the panelists value a businesses without the distraction which might come with the ever-changing price of a share in the stock market. As a result, this is investing in a business in its purest form.

And just like that, by watching TV, we get to learn how to invest like real businessmen. We also get valuable insight about how we can understand businesses, see the potential behind a business, and value a company.

Investing in the stock market should not be any different. Just because we get to see the share price of, say, SMRT Corporation Ltd. (SGX: S53) every second does not mean that its true value is fluctuating with every tick of the clock.

If we analyse SMRT’s business like the panel does in Shark Tank, we will see that SMRT is in the business of transporting Singapore’s residents in a timely and effective manner through its network of buses, trains, and taxis. Is the company providing an important service? Undoubtedly yes. Does the rise and fall of the share price have any impact on the actual business of SMRT? No.

If we can think like the panel in Shark Tank when analysing a stock’s business, we will become a better investor because our focus is really on the business and nothing else.

Seems like watching TV can be a great thing for investing after all.

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The information provided is for general information purposes only and is not intended to be personalised investment or financial advice. Motley Fool Singapore contributor Stanley Lim doesn’t own shares in any companies mentioned.