It Does Not Have To Be Exciting 26. March 2012 Rahul value investing (0) Financial markets globally have lost their zing and excitement. Pension funds and insurance companies with assumptions of 8% nominal returns are starting to appear over optimistic. There is no big theme, or story or mania that can make equity investors rich overnight. All the old themes and stories appear to be fizzling out. Even Web 3.0 and Apple have become so big that there is not much left on the table for investors. Is investing dead? Is there no hope for someone who wants to grow his or her purchasing power through passive investing? Since I am writing this post, you already know that I don't believe that is true. Investing is about laying out money today to get back more money at a future date. As long as the nominal amount of money received at the future date buys more (or substantially more) than the amount of laid out today, investing can be considered successful. My corollary to the above is that, it doesn't matter what you invest in. As long as you can buy it at a reasonable price and it compounds at a reasonable rate over a reasonable period of time, you will make out fine. There are hundreds of mundane and boring businesses that are run by mundane and boring people with mundane and boring moats (example entrenched distribution and customer reach in a sub region) available at (thankfully) mundane and boring prices that make excellent investments. If a boring business is bought at a boring price (3 or 4 times earnings? 1 or 1.5 times book?) and compounds at a 20% plus rate, it makes for a very attractive investment. One never needs the business to get discovered or rerated to make an attractive return (of course further de-rating would hurt). While a macro economy that is roaring ahead rapidly creates wealth, one that is treading water does not necessarily have to be the opposite. Investing is about turning as many stones as one can. He who turns the most stones wins. No one embodied this better than Walter Schloss (http://www.economist.com/node/21550274) who recently passed away.