Investment Postcards: Turning One and Growing
It feels like yesterday when I nervously posted my first article in the blogosphere a little more than a year ago. And not in my wildest dreams did I imagine the extraordinarily fulfilling experience it would be.
Not to mention a subscriber list that has grown from zero to 6,300, and Alexa and Technorati rankings placing Investment Postcards from Cape Town in the top 20 of global financial blogs.
A question I am often asked is what motivated me after 26 years’ in investment research and portfolio management to create an own blog.
I write primarily to organize my thoughts about financial markets – in a way electronically “filing” pertinent information – and this has become a way of life.
Although I only started blogging during the middle of last year, more than 1,200 of my articles on investment-related topics had previously been published in various regular newspaper, journal and Internet columns. I have also published a book, Financial Basics: Investment.
Although I am an investment professional, I have always seen the blog site as something personal rather than a commercial venture, but it has created global awareness for our investment management business, Plexus Asset Management, which may lead to monetary gain in the longer term.
One of the biggest spin-offs has been all the new friends I have made across the globe, including fellow bloggers, investment professionals and a myriad readers from all walks of life. Needless to say, my sources of information and business opportunities have grown exponentially.
Just a few notes on the blog site’s name, Investment Postcards from Cape Town: my aim is to write short and punchy posts on investments, in the same way as one would strive to convey a message within the limited space on a postcard. (Having said that, I am guilty of getting a bit carried away on occasion, resulting in too long posts. There is scope for improvement!)
The “from Cape Town” bit was added to the title in order to create some distance, literally and figuratively, between the hustle and bustle of the world’s premier financial centres – where the herd instinct is often prevalent – and the more tranquil Cape Town surroundings where I find it easier to formulate independent and objective investment ideas.
The truly original ideas usually come to me when I do my daily run. I live by the motto “living to run, running to live” and, as there are numerous similarities between blogging and long-distance running, this greatly influences my approach to blogging. Suffice to highlight the following four examples:
* Both blogging and long-distance running have as goal to excel over the longer term, i.e. to endure to reach a marathon personal best, or to provide high-quality blogging content that will build a loyal subscriber base and withstand the test of time. (It is, however, also tempting to be ahead at each 100-yard interval!)
* Success in both instances depends partly on natural talent, but also on dedication and perseverance. In reality, self-discipline is paramount.
* Both blogging and long-distance running are individual “sports”, rather than team “sports” where the momentum of a group of people can spur you on to greater achievement. This requires a “self-starting”-type of temperament in order to get the job done, and eventually to excite a large number of spectators / readers.
* Long-distance runners continuously fight the adversity of injury. Bloggers, similarly, get “injured” by writer’s block, comments in bad taste, wrong market calls (in the case of investment bloggers), etc. Fighting injury and regaining top form in both instances require mental toughness.
In short, I have become quite dependent on both blogging and running to provide my daily dose of adrenalin. And the bonus is that they both work just fine on my travels across the globe.
But I have realized that in order to provide readers with interesting, and hopefully useful, content is only part of the story. It is also necessary to provide them with a pleasant and stimulating blogging environment, offering a variety of exciting and dynamic features. I have worked hard to continually add interesting ones and these features mostly reside in the sidebar (i.e. the column on the right-hand site of the blog site). The sidebar, however, has become a bit crowded of late and will be completely revamped over the next few weeks for the ease of navigation and improved functionality.
Thank you for your company over the past year. I hope you will find the blog posts sufficiently stimulating to honor me with your patronage for many years to come. And on this note, please share a glass with me on Investment Postcards going from strength to strength and, above all, on friendship!
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