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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
This topic came about from an interesting discussion with Rickson9 and I thought it deserved its own thread. (I hope he doesn't mind.) First of all, I've learned that especially when it comes to investing, it's not wise to wrap my ego into one side of a position, especially when the person holding the counter position has achieved an impressive level of success. I've also learned that successful people often have a unique and sometimes contradictory way of viewing things.

So let me throw it out there. When you invest do you almost exclusively look at the balance sheet and management of the company (his holdings are impressive in this regard) or do you also try to incorporate macroeconomic factors such as demographics, US gov. and personal debt crisis and how that may effect the American dollar, impact of price of major commodities such as oil, etc.?
 

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I think that the macroeconomic factors are much more important. As we have seen over the last few years, well managed companies with good balance sheets can be brought down by the overall economy.

Once the basic decision to invest is made based on macroeconomic factors, I will select the company and the type of instrument based on company specific issues.

For example, once it became clear that canadian financial companies were not about to go down the drain, I picked up depressed preferred shares, starting with the strongest (TD) and later more risky issues such as CCS.
 
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