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Fleck's Thoughts

A reader was kind enough to send in a collection of his favorite "thoughts" from Bill, which are reproduced here.

  • (These are great points that our reader makes, but I think he is giving me too much credit for them. -- Bill)

    Hi Fleck,

    No question, just some observations and some of my “Thoughts” after following you for 20 YEARS.

    Having read almost every Rap and Ask Fleck 20 years (since 1998) I learned a lot from you about investing but I also learned a lot about life from your example. Investing can be (is) exhausting and is not done in a vacuum. You are not just an investor, trader or short seller. You were a long distance runner; you play tennis and venture to different locals to do extreme skiing. You are a wine aficionado as well as being very involved in your community. And, without mentioning many more things, you donate your time, energy and funds to different charitable pursuits.

    Here are a few things I learned from you that might be helpful to new subscribers.
    1. Patience… Patience… Patience…
    2. Don’t necessarily do what Fleck does as everyone has different investment goals and risk tolerances.
    3. Not spending and living simply is a great “investment”.
    4. Never follow the herd; just wait for psychology to change.
    5. Mr. Market is not my friend.
    6. I never got hurt taking a profit, even a small profit.
    7. Sitting with all cash gives me time to think and re-evaluate
    8. Being Still and having Patience is an “Action”.
    9. Life happens.
    10. I’ll make mistakes.
    11. Help Others.
    12. Be Grateful.


    A walk in the park (nature) can change my perspective while learning to fly an airplane taught me about balancing forces and risk. Like you I was also a runner, including one NYC marathon, while now I walk fast and lift weights. Extensive US and worldwide adventure travel, including Antarctica, and having lived in a third world country has enabled me to have a larger “worldview”, and that has helped me to make better investment decisions. I read extensively and I take time to do “nothing”. So if subscribers are interested in becoming better investors, having an exercise routine to reduce stress, eating healthy and having other interests outside of their work are very important to establish a “balanced” life.

    Also, in reading your commentary over the years I made money, but of more importance is that you kept me from “losing” money. Thanks to you Fleck, and from your example(s) and “Thoughts”, I became a better investor and hopefully a better person.