The Best Investing Lessons You’ll Find

“Go to bed smarter than when you woke up”

– Charlie Munger

When it comes to investing, folks from different walks of life pick up lessons from different places.

Some like to read books on investing. Some like attending annual general meetings to learn more. Others enjoy a good investing talk (speaking of which, The Motley Fool Singapore’s own David Kuo will be speaking at the My First Stock Carnival, organised by the SGX Academy, at 11:30 am this Saturday at Cathay Cineleisure @ Somerset.)

Whatever way you choose, it helps to go to bed smarter than when you woke up.

But where else could you learn about investing? Here are a couple of “off the beaten path” ways to learn about investing or to get new ideas.

Reading up on businesses

“I think I’ve only read two or three investment books in my life. I don’t really enjoy investment books that much. I read a lot of business books and I think a lot about business — because that’s what I’m buying.”

— David Gardner, co-founder of the Motley Fool

At the Fool, we are fans of studying businesses behind the stock ticker. Reading up on businesses that have done well in the past may help us understand the driving factors behind their successes. This may give us unique hints on how to spot future businesses that are exceptional.

So, if you’re a fan of coffee from instant beverage maker Super Group Ltd (SGX: S10), you might want to consider picking up a book from the founder of Starbucks Corporation, Howard Schultz. There may be lessons to learn from the experience of Starbucks, one of the largest coffee chains in the world.

Our daily lunch

One of my favorite pastimes is to observe how a restaurant runs its business. We can learn a lot if we slowed down, and begin to notice the little details in the restaurant business.

For instance, a skim through a menu can tell you how much variety a restaurant offers and give you a rough idea on the number of ingredients the restaurant needs to store up for each dish. Too much variety may confuse a diner and cause the restaurant’s inventory of ingredients to become too unwieldly to manage.

We can also observe how fast a restaurant can turn over a table. As my fellow Fool David Kuo points out, the faster a restaurant can turn over its diners, the more money it makes on the capital spent to set up the business.

Or, we can also learn from a friend of mine who bravely asked the store manager of an umisushi store (the umsushi brand of retail outlets offers affordable Japanese far and is owned by Neo Group Ltd  (SGX: 5UJ)) on how often she replaced the take-away chopsticks at the counter.

You see, there were about 60 chopsticks in the bin. Based on the number of times the chopstick bin was replaced, it gave my friend an idea on the amount of take away orders happening at the store daily.

All these different types of observations I just shared may be helpful if you wanted to study other restaurants under the banner of companies like Breadtalk Group Limited (SGX: 5DA) or Old Chang Kee (SGX: 5ML).

Foolish summary

I hope I’ve showed you that great investing lessons can be found in “off the beaten path” places. I started with a quote from investing maestro Charlie Munger, and would like to end with another gem from him. Keep learning, Fools!

Read more about investing and get more investing tips and tricks, FREESign up here to The Motley Fool Singapore's weekly investing newsletter, Take Stock Singapore.

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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 Chin Hui Leong owns shares in Super Group and Starbucks Corporation.