Four Lessons for Investing from a Cat and a Dog

Four Lessons for Investing from a Cat and a Dog

We took our new puppy for a walk today. We’re just starting to get used to the whole dog ownership thing. It’s pretty new to us. We’re used to cats. Had cats all through our childhood. And then about four and a half years ago, got another one. A big one. A ragdoll cat we call Lewis.

He’s a good 6.5 kilograms and, nose to tail, has to be close to a metre. He’s basically a giant. The puppy (13 weeks now) on the other hand…

He’s a pug. So he’s small. Will always be small. Probably will weigh about the same as Lewis, maybe a little more when he’s fully grown. But he will definitely be smaller.

Most people thought having an established cat and a new puppy was a crazy idea. We didn’t. We did our research. Hours, weeks and months of research.

It left us with two choices. A golden retriever or a pug. A fair size differential there. Thinking about the sheer dollar value of dog food for the next 15 years and the layout of our house, we decided on a pug.

And when we brought Alonso (the pug) home, we did the smart (hard) thing and started training right away.

It wasn’t as hard with Lewis. He came toilet trained. He doesn’t go for walks. He cleans himself. He eats when he feels like it and never overeats. He likes lap time and goes mental at 3am like clockwork. He’s the ‘lone wolf’ of the household.

Lewis has already lived in five different houses. He’s travelled halfway around the world. And he’s one chilled cat. That’s a feature of his breed. That’s why when we first did our research on a cat, four years ago, the ragdoll breed came up a winner.

But most people don’t know the effort that went into choosing our cat. And then four years later, the effort in choosing our dog. And to most people, our choice to pair the two was insane. Many people would be afraid to bring a boisterous puppy into the fold with an established cat.

Not us. Not with the level of research we put in. As it’s played out, we were right and the masses that said we were crazy…were wrong.

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Proof of success

These two apparent polar opposites are getting along like best buddies. Remember we’ve had Lewis for over four years now. We’ve had Alonso in the house for four weeks tomorrow.

Today, after we got back from our little dog walk, Lewis was at the door to greet us. We walked in, let Alonso off his lead, and he sat down. Lewis came up, gave him a little sniff, and then lay down on the doormat — calm as can be.

Then later in the evening, we were doing some research on the computer. Alonso was playing with his chew toys when Lewis decided to join us again. But he was in a playful mood. Thus the two decided to have a little play together.

This wasn’t something we expected. But play they did. Like they were new friends. A ragdoll cat from Australia and a pug puppy from England playing together — and boy did we let everyone who told us we were crazy know about it.

Source: Editor’s own photos

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We tell you this story not to gloat but to impart some lessons of wisdom. You see, there are four key lessons to take away from this unlikely pairing.

  1. The power of detailed research. If we had just decided to get a dog — any old dog — it probably would have been a nightmare. It’s almost certain that a Jack Russell or a Staffie would have created mayhem for Lewis and us.
  1. If something might sound crazy on the face of it, there’s a good chance it’s not. By listening to ‘popular opinion’, you can get sucked into the middle of the bell curve. By that, we mean that if you took a survey of 100,000 people, the bulk of them would say it’s a bad idea. But quite often, the masses — the mainstream — are wrong.
  1. When you make a decision, commit to it with conviction and confidence. Our dad once said to us before a game of footy:

If you’re going for the ball, go hard and commit to the contest. If you commit, fully commit. By doing that, you might get a bump or you might get hit. But you’ll be ready for it and you won’t get hurt.’

  1. The crazy isn’t always crazy. In fact, sometimes the crazy idea ends up being one of the best decisions you’ll ever make.

Come join us on the fringe of the bell curve

These lessons aren’t new to us. In fact, they’re lessons we try to live by every day. But to many people, these lessons might be new, something fresh, something even a little scary.

But they’re the kinds of lessons you can apply to your own life — and to the way you invest your money.

The views and opinions of the masses and the mainstream can be loud. They can make you doubt your own independent thinking. They can make an idea you have seem…a little crazy.

But out there on the edges of the bell curve are people who revel in the ‘crazy’. You’ll find us out there. It’s ‘outliers’ like you and us who commit to independent thinking, regardless of what popular opinion says.

And we do it with conviction and confidence. It’s not blind faith. We make sure that while the ideas might be and sound a little crazy, they’re far from it.

Detailed, extensive and knowledgeable research goes into it all. Deep understanding of the issues at hand, the potential problems, and the potentially incredible rewards, are always factored in.

You might be mixing a cat and dog in the same house. You might be investing in a crazy new market called ‘cryptocurrency’. Or you might even be preparing for the biggest financial armageddon the world has ever seen.

It doesn’t matter which ‘crazy’ idea you’re implementing. If you have the knowledge, you have the power. And if you do it all with conviction, confidence and commitment, then chances are you’ll come through it OK on the other side.

Lessons from a cat and a dog…what a crazy idea…


Sam Volkering,
Editor, Money Morning

Sam Volkering
Sam is Editor for Money Morning and it's small-cap and technology analyst. He spends his time hunting down the most exciting stocks on the planets, whether they’re potential-packed volatile small-caps or tech firms transforming our future through cutting-edge technologies. You can find more of Sam’s work over at Australian Small-Cap Investigator, where he shares the best small-cap stocks he finds on the ASX, or at Revolutionary Tech Investor where he reveals the latest breakthrough tech investment he’s discovered. If you’d like to more about Sam’s financial world view and investing philosophy then join him on Google+. It's where he shares investment insight, commentary and ideas that he can't always fit into his regular Money Morning essays.
Sam Volkering is Editor for Money Morning and its small-cap and technology analyst. He’s not interested in boring blue-chip stocks. He’s after Australia’s rising stars — companies whose shares trade for cents on the dollar — and are often shunned by those in the financial services industry. His mission is to make you big money, from small stocks.
If you’d like to learn about the specific companies Sam is recommending you buy for turbo-charged stock returns, take a 30-day trial of his small-cap investment advisory Australian Small-Cap Investigator here. But that’s not where Sam’s talents end. From discovering the Apple 2e and Macintosh in the mid-80s, to the rise and fall of the Mini Disc in the 90s…to building internet apps in the 00s...Sam is an amazing talent at finding new, cutting edge technologies and translating that research into how the future will look — and where the opportunities lie.It’s his job to trawl the world to find, analyse, research and — in the right situation — recommend investments in the world’s most innovative and technologically advanced companies.He recommends the best ones he finds in his breakthrough technology investment service Revolutionary Tech Investor.This revolutionary investment advisory is dedicated to finding the best ways to profit from technological developments across the globe. If the best action is in Australia, Sam will find it. If it’s in Silicon Valley, Frankfurt or Tokyo, Sam will find it there too.To find out more about how Revolutionary Tech Investor can help you profit from breaking developments in the tech world click here to take a 30-day no-obligation trial today. Official websites and financial e-letters Sam writes for: (You can find a list of recent articles written by Sam at the bottom of this page.)

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