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4 Key Lessons from a Decade of Investing

I am fast closing in on the 10th anniversary of my first ever purchase of a Singapore stock.

Back in 20 October 2005, I made my maiden investment and bought some units of retail and commercial real estate owner Suntec Real Estate Investment Trust (SGX: T82U), which luckily enough, has been a good long-term investment.

My portfolio has come a long way since then. In my decade of investing, I have picked up my fair share of winners and losers. There are learning points to be found in both.

Here’re four key lessons I’ve picked up from my investing journey so far:

Lesson No. 1: The value of simplicity – click here

Lesson No. 2: The power of long term investing – click here

Lesson No. 3: Find your investing home – click here

Lesson No. 4: Being Motley

The third lesson was about finding your core investment approach. The fourth lesson though, is a little contradictory: It’s about being flexible despite already having your favored approach. This is what my colleagues and I call, ‘being Motley.’

A fellow Fool Stanley Lim once summed up what being Motley means:

“In our parlance, the use of “Motley” is to celebrate our differences when it comes to investing – we embrace different viewpoints on investing and understand that there is no one fixed method to achieve investing success.”

Being Motley in your investment approach can give you a fresh perspective to an investment idea you’ve been looking at. In my own personal case, although my favoured approach is for growth companies, I constantly learn from different investing styles that my Foolish colleagues or the Foolish community provides. The differing views may be worth way more than the sum of the parts.

The Motley ethos is also the inspiration behind my ‘Three Wise Men’ series. In an old Indian fable, there were three blind-folded wise men who were not able to individually guess that they were touching an elephant as they were each feeling a unique part of the animal. But if they had collated their individual points of view, they may have been able to guess correctly.

Here’s a sample of the ‘Three Wise Men’ articles:

A Fool’s take

There are many ways to approach investing.

My preference is towards long-term investing in growth companies with a simple investing thesis. But at the same time, I also remind myself to constantly be flexible in my thinking and not be too dogmatic.

It’s an investing approach which fits my lifestyle as I do not have to tend to my companies on a daily basis. If the business keeps purring, I can enjoy a good night’s sleep and spend time on other important things in life.

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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 Suntec REIT.