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How to read my articles + 1 ASX share I bought in May

Being paid to write for a living is great.

I have written over 3,300 articles on investing, personal finance and everything in between.

But I’ll be the first to tell you, sometimes I forget which day it is.

And some of the things I write isn’t great.

And I’ve made investments that haven’t worked out, like Reffind Ltd (ASX: RFN) and Yowie Group Ltd (ASX: YOW).

However, regardless of whether it’s a Monday or Thursday, I’ll be honest, transparent and accountable.

At the bottom of my articles, you’ll find the names of the shares I own. That doesn’t mean they are a good buy today, but if I hold them — I have not sold them.

I own many international shares, like Apple, Alphabet (Google), PayPal, Wells Fargo, Twitter

I recently bought Amazon and ING Groep (the owner of ING Direct), and I’m eying off a few others.  

My point is: I don’t own many ASX shares. Even though I’ve written — at a guess — 1.3 million words of wisdom on Australian finance.

Don’t get me wrong, in the past, I owned many ASX shares.

But there are benefits to investing internationally which — by design — you can’t get from investing locally. One of them is the ability to own great blue chip companies.

Do you eat your own cooking?

I’m always skeptical of company managers when they talk up their company — yet they don’t own any shares.

I’m also skeptical (sceptical?) of almost every finance guru who recommends buying or selling shares, but they don’t own any for themselves.

It’s important that we ‘eat our own cooking’, so to speak.

But consider a finance guy – like me – who owns shares (a good thing, right?) and talks up the company, but he sells out tomorrow — without you knowing.

I’d say that’s less ethical, transparent, accountable… call it what you want.

Ultimately

There’s no way to be certain if the person giving you advice is genuine.

The solution: make up your own mind.

Take the person’s advice and think about it.

After all, if you don’t know what you own – you are more likely to sell out at the first sign of trouble. More often than not that’s the worst time to sell.

And it’s not hard to invest better than 80% of professional investors.

Just head over to Vanguard’s website if you have no interest in learning. Alternatively, invest in your super fund.

1 ASX share I bought recently

I want you consider something else about my articles.

If I buy shares — or recommend someone else do the same thing — I plan to hold them for a long time. I kindly ask ‘day traders’ and ‘month traders’ to stop reading my articles now.

For example, I bought the Vanguard MSCI Index International Shares (Hedged) ETF (ASX: VGAD) for my young sister. It’s a diversified local ETF that invests in international shares.

She’ll get the proceeds deposited into her bank account in around 14 years.

And when it comes to buying, I’m just as willing to wait.

For example, everyone talks about the legendary investments made by Warren Buffett during the market crash of 2008/2009. But few people remember that Buffett had not made any real investments since 2001. He waited seven years to make another meaningful investment.

That’s long term thinking.

The only other ASX holding I own right now is Platinum Asset Management Limited (ASX: PTM), which I bought in May.

It’s a high risk investment, but I think it’s worth the outside shot at success over the next five years. And although it’s risky, it pays a generous dividend.  

Foolish Takeaway

Although you won’t find many ASX shares in my portfolio, I hope my articles can give you ideas and pause for thought. The continuous disclosure of my portfolio can show you exactly what I have bought and hold. 

But remember, I don’t really care if the shares I buy fall 10% tomorrow or 50% next week. I’m a long-term investor who focuses on buying great businesses — not ‘great shares’.

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Motley Fool Contributor Owen Raszkiewicz owns shares of Apple, Alphabet, PayPal, Wells Fargo, Twitter, Amazon, ING Groep, Platinum Asset Management and units in the Vanguard MSCI International Shares (Hedged) ETF (VGAD). Please follow me on Twitter: @OwenRask.

The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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