I need to flush out everything I can about the Nuran thing. Rub my nose in it. And then hopefully come out cleaner on the other side.
This is the first post. I don’t think it’s the last one.
I don’t remember much about the day when I bought the bulk of my Nuran position.
But I do remember the moment when I was buying. It felt like nothing else existed except for me and this stock I desired so much. I was sucked in a vortex of greed and I felt a rush of excitement as I was buying feverishly. And yet, I remember the little voice in my head whispering: “what if you’re wrong?”. I dismissed that voice. I shut it down and that gave me a feeling of power and courage. I felt superior.
By the end of the buying spree, I had purchased ~$300K of stocks or about 40% of my portfolio. Just writing this gives me the chills.
Whether or not this position turns into a catastrophic loss is irrelevant. My behavior has opened me up for potential catastrophy. I wanted this move to work out so bad, I basically chose to ignore all the risks and decided that since I put so much hope in it, it just had to work.
This occurred shortly after the GME saga, which I watched unfold under my eyes. I remember missing the GME boat twice (on the first and the second leg up). This greatly frustrated me. I too wanted to hit a home run. It also happened after a phenomenal 2020 year for me where I went all-in on a few stocks, got lucky and tripled my portfolio. Finally, it happened after I watched some positions I had exited (feeling the markets had gone crazy) fly to new highs.
I think all of this might have played a role in short-circuiting my rational brain and turning me into a momentarily degenerate gambler. How can we watch others 10x their money in the span of a few days and not be affected by it? While envy is the least fun of all the sins, it might be the most powerful one.
I am not immune to envy. I too want to have millioms of dollars im my bank account. I too would like a house with a patio and a pool for my kids. Not having these things eats me up inside. I am reminded all of a sudden of phone conversations with my father who recently asked us “So when are you moving out to a better place?” and my mother who wished us to “One day live in as beautiful a house as my sister’s”. I didn’t make much of it at the time, but now that house prices have gone through the roof, and despite having more than enough cash for a cash down, I find all the beautiful houses insultingly overpriced, and as result, frustration and envy have been bubbling up inside me.
While I hope to get rid of these ugly feelings, I know that I can’t just snap my fingers like Thanos and make them disappear. For now, I am at least able to acknowledge their existence and the role they might have played in my impulsive behavior. But in the longer term, I need to find a way to manage them.
There’s something else. I am currently reading Guy Spier’s magnificent book, The Education of a Value Investor, and in several chapters he emphasized the importance of being immersed in the right environment in order to make rational and optimal decisions. And this reminded me that I have possibly the worst environment imaginable. We live in a small 3 bedroom appartment. My wife and I sleep in one bedroom, our two daughters in the another, and I work from the third one. My wife is a stay-at-home mother, and neither of my daughters goes to kindergarten or school (they are 2 and 4 years old). This means that I am constantly distracted and disturbed, by any one of them three. I can hardly get a full hour without one of them entering in my “office”, the little girls for no particular reason at all, my wife to tell me something or ask me something. I never realized it until now, but this puts extra-pressure on me to make decisions fast, before I get interrupted. This might have compounded the problem.
I can’t help but think of Charlie Munger’s lollapalooza effect: how powerful the simultaneous occurrence of multiple events pushing in the same direction can be. I might have been right in the center of a lollapalooza effect.
Back to $NUR
As of today, this not a total loss. But it could be. I am at the mercy of the African voodoo Gods (the main project of the company takes place in the Democratic Republic of Congo…of all places), and at the mercy of Francis, the CEO of $NUR. The problem is, Francis is a salesman. Quite the opposite of the outlier CEOs (I wish I had started reading that book sooner). And he just closed a private placement that wasn’t very shareholder friendly, to say the least. I am also at the mercy of the market and the monetary environment. Should things go sour, I would undoubtedly be stuck with a big loss. All in all, this is a very unpleasant spot, and not one I ever want to find myself in again.
But I have to accept it. If I’m fighting with only one hand, the best I can do is use it effectively. So I accept the outcome, whatever it is. A mistake was made, a price must be paid. I am letting go and focusing on the quality of my decisions going forward.
I wish the last paragraph reflected how I really feel currently. It doesn’t. But I’m trying to avoid letting past mistakes create future ones. Hopefully I’ll get there.