The Story of The Greedy Farmer
Why The “Greedy” Farmer?
That’s easy to explain. I like plain language and investing is about growing your wealth. Therefore, investing should be about greed. It is your job to be greedy when you invest. Use greed to motivate, use fear to create discipline. Follow this logic when you invest. The rest of the time, be that other, better person. In fact, be better at being the good person you are the rest of your day because you are a greedy investor! Be generous with the spoils of your investing: volunteer, donate, help other people. The success you have while investing lets you be the generous person you are.
Okay, that was more of a lesson than a story. Now that the lesson is out of the way, let’s get to the story.
I pretend to be a farmer. I only own a quarter section of land northwest of Red Deer and my brother does the real farming, makes the tough decisions, takes the big risks, repairs the equipment, makes sure the work gets done when it needs to be done. I do drive truck during harvest and sometimes swath a couple of fields plus other occasional jobs. And, it’s great. It keeps me plugged into a great industry. An industry that will power Alberta forward for as long as we remember how important our dirt is!
More reasons for the Greedy Farmer Investing name:
- The robo-advisor types have already taken the svelte names! This is not an elegant activity anyway, so I’m fine with that. There is a lot of haphazard decision making and lots of errors so a blunt, unsophisticated name fits.
My outlook on investing may be different than your financial advisors’. Perhaps that is a result of working as a farmer, a mechanic, and later career experiences with people who are part of the practical world of building roads, harvesting timber, building the sewers and streets of our communities. My perspective on personal finance is an outsider’s view. Yet as much as I believe in getting my hands dirty, academic understanding must play a prominent role in all decisions. Most importantly, I assume everyone has scraped their savings together by laying in the mud and occasionally skinning your knuckles. All these perspectives inform my approach.
Ok, the jokes, the stories are out of the way. The rest of the content is dead serious and straight at you..
Investing IS like farming.
When you farm, you don’t control the weather, the price of seed, the price of fertilizer, the price of fuel, equipment, storage, the amount of rain you will get; you don’t control when the crop has to be planted or when it has to be harvested, you don’t even control access to rail cars and the railroad when you decide to sell. Further, as a farmer, you don’t control what price the crop will bring, when it is finally in the grain bin. In conclusion, you don’t control much!
Investing in securities is much the same as farming. You control very little. What you do control, in both cases, is your behaviour.
Back to the farm, the choices you may control include:
How many different crops you plant in any given year:
- Canola only
- Canola, Wheat & Barley
- Maybe Malt Barley and/or Feed Barley, Oats, Alfalfa
When and how you sell your crop:
- Sell all at harvest
- Sell a third of the crop at a time
How you make decisions about crop varieties, farming methods, marketing:
- Your own hands-on experiments
- research you read
- hire a consultant
- a mix of all of the above
You get the idea…
The bottom line, it’s really important you do a great job of the few things you do control. You don’t want to farm just because you enjoy it, you also need to win at it. Investing is similar.
Maybe investing is the other way around, you need to win at it to enjoy it.
I think that is enough chatter about the name. I have some more thoughts on greed and on such topics as ESG Investing, Ethical Funds, and the like. Please check out that tab.
Canadian Securities Course
Volume 1: 84%
Volume 2: 85%
Bachelor of Commerce Undergraduate Degree
University of Alberta
Heavy Duty Mechanic License
Red Seal Certification, Province of Alberta
Heavy Equipment Technology
- Rotarian and Playground builder: see accessforallreddeer.ca
- Red Deer & District Chamber of Commerce Agriculture Policy Committee, 2014 – 2017
2012 – ongoing
Focused Financial Securities Investor
Red Deer, Alberta
2002 – 2013
Construction Equipment Dealership Manager
Brandt Tractor Ltd.
Vernon, British Columbia
1995 – 2002
Construction Equipment Sales Positions
Brandt Tractor Ltd.
Field Management Positions
John Deere Ltd.
Edmonton, Alberta; Winnipeg, Manitoba, Thunder Bay, Ontario; Burlington, Ontario
Heavy Duty Mechanic / Field Mechanic