Copying other people’s research

I wrote in the The Rules that I wouldn’t copy other people’s research (and I won’t). I felt that my RNY Property Trust (ASX: RNY) purchase was stretching the boundaries a little, although I did all my own research and was able to convince myself that that research and subsequent buy decision are legitimately my intellectual property.

Today another good investing team that I follow bought a beaten down blue chip that I had my eye on. I spent my whole afternoon yesterday looking at this company, its prospects, competition, finances, and so on. I hadn’t come to any conclusions (although it is obviously cheap), but I have decided today that I will have to cross it off my list. These investors that I follow have a number of funds, and I think about 5 different ones now own this company. They’ve written a lot about it over the years and it would be really stretching my own credulity if I suddenly purchased shares in it about a week after they did.

On the other hand, it’s very hard in the Australian market to find a fund manager that doesn’t own shares in a company that you want to buy. There are many fishermen dipping their hooks in a small pond. I may have to consider amending the rules at some point if this becomes a repeat issue, but for now I will look elsewhere.

Frustrating, yes; probably what I will do is buy shares for my personal portfolio and then find another business to buy for my 10foot portfolio. I know rationally that there will be plenty of opportunities over the next 5 years.