Most people believe that investing is a skill, with the more skilled investors earning above average returns. How is this skill created?
A post in http://www.investingcaffeine.com/ explains this:
Creating a Skillful Analytical Edge
Unlike the process of mowing lawns, in which more applied work time generally equates to more lawns cut (i.e., more profits), the investment world doesn’t quite work that way. You could work all day, stare at your screen for 23 hours, trade off of useless information, and still earn lousy returns. When it comes to investing, more work does not necessarily produce better results. Mauboussin’s prescription is to create an analytical edge. Here is how he describes it:
“At the core of an analytical edge is an ability to systematically distinguish between fundamentals and expectations.”
Steven Crist sums up this indispensable concept beautifully:
“There are no “good” or “bad” horses, just correctly or incorrectly priced ones.”
A disciplined, systematic approach will incorporate these ideas, however all good investors understand the good processes can lead to bad outcomes in the short-run. By continually learning from mistakes, and refining the process with a constant feedback loop, the investment process can only get better. On the other hand, schizophrenically reacting to an endless flood of ever-changing information, or fearfully chasing the leadership du jour will only lead to pain and sorrow.