This article is excerpted from a letter by MOI Global instructor Mark Walker, Managing Partner at Tollymore Investment Partners, based in London.

“Responsibility to yourself means refusing to let others do your thinking, talking, and naming for you; it means learning to respect and use your own brains and instincts; hence, grappling with hard work.” –Adrienne Rich

The booming digital distribution of opinions has increased the value of independent thinking to investment decision makers. Those who read news and views on social media are consuming tailored versions of events and stories to suit their specific tastes and political, economic and social ideals. These messages are designed to hold our attention so that we may be sold advertising messages; they are not designed to help us calibrate our attitude and improve our judgment, for which there is no social media business case. Our world view becomes more embedded by confirmation bias endemic to the social media echo chamber[1].

Forming opinions by examining facts, logic and data is old-fashioned and effortful compared to listening to talking heads and internet commentators telling us where to stand on any issue we care to imagine. Market participants with higher confidence and lower accuracy are what fund managers able to think independently should wish to compete against.

Regurgitation of others’ opinions or the capacity for such opinions to shake our own beliefs due to inadequate independent research, are symptomatic of an unexamined life and a hindrance to a successful career. Bad decisions are inevitably the consequence of ineffective thinking.

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Disclaimer: The contents of this document are communicated by, and the property of, Tollymore Investment Partners LLP. Tollymore Investment Partners LLP is an appointed representative of Eschler Asset Management LLP which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”). The information and opinions contained in this document are subject to updating and verification and may be subject to amendment. No representation, warranty, or undertaking, express or limited, is given as to the accuracy or completeness of the information or opinions contained in this document by Tollymore Investment Partners LLP or its directors. No liability is accepted by such persons for the accuracy or completeness of any information or opinions. As such, no reliance may be placed for any purpose on the information and opinions contained in this document. The information contained in this document is strictly confidential. The value of investments and any income generated may go down as well as up and is not guaranteed. Past performance is not necessarily a guide to future performance.