Discipline or expertise ?

mutual funds investment

When it comes to investing, is discipline more important or does Expertise take the cake ? 

There is a classic story about how a stock portfolio built by having a blindfolded monkey throwing darts at the financial pages of a newspaper does better than a portfolio constructed by experts!! 

Sounds unbelievable?

You must then read the 1973 bestseller by Burton Malkiel “A Random Walk Down Wall Street”

It is quite common for investors to seek ‘Expert’ advice on stock market direction or on the prospects of a company’s share price.

The reason for such behaviour is the belief that there are ‘Investment Experts’ who can provide ‘Investment Tips’ to help one earn superior returns on their money.

Such belief often leads to sub-optimal returns on investment for a retail, individual investor who wants to build substantial capital over his/her working life (20-30 years or more).

So, what should a common individual investor do?

First of all, remember this:

It is NOT so much the SMARTNESS, but better DISCIPLINE which creates Higher Wealth

Here are the simple habits that one can develop to be a Disciplined Investor:

  1. Understand that someone promising a High Return is only trying to attract your attention. Be wary of such promises
  2. Focus on your GOALS rather than trying to generate abnormal returns
  3. Start investing at the earliest possible – No matter howsoever small the amount may be. This way you allow Compounding to work for your benefit
  4. Remember George Soros ‘ words: “If investing is entertaining, if you’re having fun, you’re probably not making any money. Good investing is boring.”

Perhaps now it’s easier to make a choice between Discipline & Expertise.

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