Since inception, the purpose of UPFINA has been to understand the world around us. We believe that one of the best tools to accomplish this mission is through economics and finance. However, economics and finance are as much an art as they are a science. Therefore, rigid principles and mathematics are just as important as the mere perception of participants. Even more importantly, trying to understand the appropriate neutral perspective of the world alongside a constantly changing environment, one which the economy is, is one of the most fascinating and exhilarating processes. Your perspective about the past and present is just as important in forming your understanding of the future, even though history does not repeat. While history may rhyme, the dynamics are always different and the variables that you need to analyze are always complex.
Trying to understand the economy is akin to attempting to solve a jigsaw puzzle without knowing what the finished puzzle picture is. Now imagine investing, based upon your understanding of this jigsaw puzzle. As you put each piece of the puzzle (capital, time) into place, you slowly start getting a better idea of the picture. However, if you place a piece of the puzzle incorrectly, this forces you to remove the puzzle piece from the board which is the equivalent of opportunity cost in the form of time and money. Furthermore, the more puzzle pieces you get wrong, the greater the detriment to your ability to compound your wealth over time.
Everyone has their own perspective about the economy, based on their sources of information and experiences. What is true to one person, might not be true for another. By the same token, every person and perspective has their strengths and weaknesses. In order to understand the economy, it is vital to examine all perspectives to extract elements of truth (strengths) in each one, to understand the wholesome picture of the world. Rarely will one source of information give you all the right answers about the past, present and the future. Everyone has their own biases, and it is your job as investors to understand what those weaknesses may be. No one person or entity is perfect (including us).
Our objective is to understand all perspectives about the economy, to extract the strengths and remove the weaknesses. This is an ongoing activity that we do on a daily basis. The more time we spend doing this, the clearer our understanding of the truth is. There is never certainty that we have reached the singular truth and we can just rest. This requires us to always question and reexamine the data, narrative and the thesis. The more time we spend doing this, the more we learn, and the better our process becomes. Just like wealth compounds, knowledge compounds too. In fact, the compounding of knowledge should be your singular purpose, as this is what will help you attain more wealth as investors.
Since there are no certainties when it comes to investing, probabilities are constantly evolving and changing as we obtain a clearer picture of the puzzle (the world). We do not have a narrative, regardless of what our personal thesis may be at any given time. We simply present the facts as we see them when they occur, and adjust our thesis accordingly, just as you should. We don’t have all the answers. We merely try to ask the right questions.
The pursuit of truth in finance and economics to form an unbiased view of current events in order to understand human action, its causes and effects.
- Never take anything at face value. Be skeptical, but not cynical.
- Remove hypocrisy. Be honest.
- Sensationalism and satisfactory investment returns do not coexist.
- Rarely is anything as bad as you fear, nor as great as you hope.
- Truth is not black and white, but somewhere in the middle.
- You won’t get the right answer if you don’t ask the right questions
- Listen to all, follow none.
It is commonly regarded that free advice is worth what you pay for it, thereby please note that we are not advising you.
We do not predict nor claim to predict the future. Our goal is to understand history while inquiring into the progression and significance of events.
“Economics must not be relegated to classrooms and statistical offices and must not be left to esoteric circles. It is the philosophy of human life and action, and concerns everybody and everything. It is the pith of civilization and of man’s human existence.” -Ludwig von Mises, Human Action, 1949
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