Monday 23 June 2014

Trust but Verify

It's not about being cynical.

Nor is it about being skeptical.

It's about basing our opinions or decisions on some backing of facts - if any.

If we don't verify what we've heard or read and pass the same message to others, we are merely parroting and passing hearsay to others. Rumour-mongers?

And if the message was indeed false or misinterpreted, what do we do? We say it's not our fault and blame it on whoever passed us the information right!?

Let's focus on the verify part.

If we can't, don't know how, or where to start, etc; I hope alarm bells are ringing in our heads.

That means we are out of our depths. Outside our circle of competence?

Think about it for a moment. 

Keep this thought next time you were tempted into an investment opportunity or trading setup offered by others. 

Ask if you are basing it on your own independent analytical, fact verification, and decision making skills; or is it based on faith and trust of the messenger?

P.S.  It's a great habit to have in the Corporate world too. There's only so many times you can apologize to your Board or Steering Group that you have not verified the facts...


  1. Hi SMOL

    I used to do a lot of assumptions in my work until my manager came up to me and say get the facts!!! not the assumptions!!!

    O Well....

    1. B,

      We all go through this learning process the hard way - makes it more fun mah!

      Next time you are in your manager's job, you can return the same "favour" to your underlings ;)

      Delegation without ownership of the responsibility is just a time bomb ticking... Trust but verify!

      Apply it to our investing that's where the real fireworks start! LOL!

      Offer me land banking or fine wine investments? Eh... But I've no clue where to begin my verifications....

      Better stay out unless I know a lot about land or zoning development (not residential property investing OK?) or connoisseur wine collecting (it's more closer to stamps and coin collecting than wine appreciation) .

  2. SMOL,

    In my job, there is plenty of room to be creative. There are of course some directives of certain ways to deliver the products.

    Once, someone deliver the product it is considered good. Not one ask if it is more effective than other products.

    Of course, we cannot based everything on sales results, but I always believe there must be some value add even if not "increased sales"

    I have a colleague who asked me for
    Permission to skip certain product delivery. I ask, so what are u going to replace?

    He say er... I say cannot be nothing. He did mention his concept, I have him some feedbacks, but ask him to review the results as that is the best feedback.

    Also, the people behind the delivery of products is more important that the delivery process or product, but I saw trend of product over people.

    The verification should be more on the person.

    1. Assume?

      You are making ASS U and Me


    2. CW,

      That's how I learn what an ASS I've been :)

      Assume a stock will go up just because I own it.... How naive was I during my early trading days!!!???

      I guess what doesn't kill us makes us stronger?

    3. sillyinvestor,

      When I was in the Steering Group, we always "verify" on the person ;)

      Throw a curve ball to the person doing the presentation and we see how he/she respond.

      If ee ee or or, we will know that person has delegated the presentation to others and have no clue what he/she is presenting...

      Can delegate but we must OWN what we are presenting!

  3. Very true... spend more time in verifying will entails more saving at the later stage of explaining (or worst, pinpointing)

    1. Richard,

      Verifying is part of our learning or growing process.

      Got our facts wrong, at least we still can profit from our mistakes.

      Turn a lemon into lemonade.

      Now we know what we should not repeat :)

  4. i am very kiasu most of the times but i still make mistake at times. I am that kiasu that even i heard it from the horse's mouth, i usually still want to verify from the source or official sites. Am i paranoid?
    How can we do it with a stock or a company?
    Unless we are insiders, what else can we do?

    1. temperament,

      That's not paranoid; that's being prudent.

      Paranoid is when after checking your facts double or triple times, you still don't believe what you have verified ;)

      That's paralysis.

      All the knowledge in the world is useless if we can't pull the trigger.


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