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Friday, 30 March 2012

The North American Brown Bear (and your investment/trading styles)

I’ve always loved watching animal documentaries on TV. 

One animal, the brown bear, comes to mind whenever I think of my speculation style.
See if you can spot the similarities between the brown bear’s seasonal and varied diet and your investing/trading styles.

The North American brown bear, also known as the grizzly bear, is an omnivorous like us humans.

After emerging from its 6 month long winter hibernation around April, the first food it eats is sometimes carrion from animals that did not survive the winter. A brown bear will usually travel to lower elevations to reach vegetated, snow-free areas. Roots of plants, bulbs of flowers, and freshly emerging grasses of early spring are some examples of the vegetarian part of their diet.

Contrary to popular belief, meat only makes up around 10% of a brown bear’s diet.The brown bear is an opportunist. It will sometimes prey on elk or moose calves or smaller mammals whenever the opportunity arises.

By mid-summer, brown bears flip rocks to lick up insects such as ants and ant larvae. Insects are also torn out of rotting logs and trees. Brown bears are also big bullies. They will use their size and strength to intimidate and scare away other predators – like wolves and cougars – from their kills.

By mid-July to early August, the fruits of berry producing shrubs begin to mature. Berries are the important high quality food source for bears. This is when you see the brown bears gorged themselves silly on blue berries! Reminds of that Louis Armstrong song: “I found my thrill, on Blueberry Hill…”

Mid-August to September, its salmon spawning season! The mature and experienced brown bears will stand on the edge of the rapids and catch, with its jaws, the salmons as they leap out from the waters. It looks so easy until you see the young bears fumbled on their attempts at mimicking their seniors.

It will take several seasons for these young bears to master their own techniques of salmon catching. In the meantime, these young bears will have to settle for the less dignified way of catching salmons – chasing after them near the shallows of the river… Making a mess of everything with big splashes of the water! 

The brown bears know that they only have these short months of plenty to build up their body fat as energy reserves for the coming long winter months. The brown bear’s diet has evolved to help it survive in their habitat.

It’s the cycle of the seasons. Winter weeds out those who are not prepared.

There are also the opposite extreme to the brown bears. Like the panda who only survives on bamboo and the koala bear with its eucalyptus leaves. These are the diet specialists.

Of course we can be specialists in our investment/trading. Just as long we are aware what happens when our only food source runs out… 

So, what do you think? Is there a link between our human’s omnivore diet and us overrunning planet earth? 


  1. I am more towards Pilot fish and American Cockroach.

    1. CW8888,

      Now that's very interesting!

      Stalk the sharks and survivalist from the days of the dinosaurs ;)

  2. i agree retail investors in order to survive have to behave like pilot fishs. After all we are really ikan billis in the market. We have to follow the sharks. When the sharks go on a frenzy feeding, pilots fishs wait for their turn. Ha! Ha!

  3. Unless we are using some kind of automated mechanical trading system, we can't just flip our mind like combination of switches according to the seasons of the year. Who has automated trading system here?

    1. CW8888,

      It's not about flipping switches.

      If I herbivore, during the dry season no grass got all the "free" meat around me also no use.

      Same if I carnivore. Even if I on top of the food chain, but if over hunt my prey to extinction, I'll be next...

      I was thinking of the Nikkei. If I only know how to long equities and SGX one day suffers from a similar fate (choy!) like the Nikkei, will I still be around after 20 years of hibernation?

      You can trade and invest. So you are not like the Panda and the Koala bear - one trick pony ;)

    2. i don't believe in fully auto trading system. very soon you will reach the boundary and if you don't know how to switch it off, you are in big trouble.

      the key is to develop a mechanical system where you define your boundaries (risk) and have another system overlapping so that you will not cross the boundary you define.

      the best is to develop your own system based on you own idea so that you can trust them when comes to extreme conditions.

  4. Ha! Ha!
    coconut, this reminds me never invest above your comfort zone. And nobody really should tell you where is your comfort zone. Only you will know. Or else you will not sleep well at night and chances of success of your investing is so much "poorer"
    By the way, i understand a lot of companies using software of HS computer arbitrage trading programs come and go. If not the market only players left will be them only.


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