Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Many money managers diversify. They attempt to spread their risk by placing smaller bets on a broader number of stocks. But that is not what the best money managers do. The best money managers (Bruce Berkowitz, Warren Buffett) have narrow portfolios, maybe 25 stocks in which they are heavily invested. These are stocks in which they really, really invest, and from which they expect big, big returns. Berkshire Hathaway's Charlie Munger: "Why would you want to put money on your 35th-best idea?"

That is a great question for ministries - particularly those that are trying to do too much in too many areas. Why not put more emphasis, resources and talent toward a few things that you have reasonable certainty will pay off? Throughout history CTK has placed more resources into fewer areas - Worship, Community, Outreach - and it has paid off. The challenge, of course, is to keep doing that.

In The Science of Hitting by Ted Williams there is a graphic showing the sections of the strike zone where Williams hit for highest average. For a hitter, certain pitches are more hit-able than might call it the hitter's sweet spot. For a pitcher, you definitely don't want to throw to the batters sweet spot. Part of being a great hitter is being a picky hitter. Not only will the great ones not swing at every pitch, they won't even swing at every strike. They put all their energies into the pitch that they can hit the absolute best. They put the "deliberate" in deliberate simplicity.

Do you need to double-up this year on what will really pay off? Do you need to cease doing some things that, while well-meaning, are essentially drawing resources away from what really needs to be done? Where's your sweet spot?

No comments: