“Be open to learning from other people, but completely copying others exposes you to risks they are built to avoid.”

– Christian Ryther, Curreen Capital

Christian Ryther, Founder and Portfolio Manager of Curreen Capital Management, shares in depth perspective into how an investor must manage personal psychology for long-term success. In an exclusive conversation with The Manual of Ideas, Christian discusses the linkage between investment discipline and originality in selection of investment ideas, which in turn gives an investor the conviction to stick to his or her process during times of duress.

Below we select several highlights from the interview, starting first with the benefits of a unique investment strategy:

Your strategy has to be theoretically sound, but also something you can execute on. Be the best version of yourself, you might be able to completely copy what others are doing, but you will not have their particular way of looking at the world, exposing you to an achilles heels they don’t have.

Next, Christian gives deeper insight into the dual purpose of an investment strategy: 

If you are required to look at the market all the time, as a long-term investor it can only hurt you…A single sound investment strategy not only gives conviction to stick to it in times of duress, but also prevents you from being all over the map (e.g. net-net, quality, bankruptcies etc.) by giving you the ability to say no.

Finally, Christian shares the investment benefits of exercise as a means to manage investment stress, as well as two key ways to calm yourself down during times of stress:

Human beings operate by building and releasing stress. Lot of successful people have this physical outlet in the form of exercise, which is a means of self-mastery…Two ways to manage stress to calm yourself down is to be in a familiar place, or to is put yourself in cold as primitive parts of the body will slow-down. As an example, I have filled a bowl filled with water and ice cubes, and have dipped my head into it – while it sounds ridiculous, it helped get a sense of perspective.

Christian’ unique comments on originality, avoiding bias in investment decisions, investment benefits of exercise, and insights from the book “The Hour Between Dog and Wolf” provide an excellent perspective on the psychology of investment success.