Do you have a "knack" or "intuition" for investing?
This one is tough to answer unless you're willing to risk some capital. While it's great that there are more and more investing simulation games, there are also limits to these games in finding one's intuitive abilities. For example, in a game you will make a different decision (I promise) when the market is volatile than when you're risking your own capital and have your skin in the game. So to find out if you have a "knack" or "intuition" for investing, you probably need to jump into the markets with your actual money. Important thing to remember: most people don't have this innate ability.
What do you do once you've discovered you have good intuition?
This is where the hard work comes in because now you need to build upon your natural abilities (and you can't coast). Ability and luck only take you so far; hard work does the rest. I can only speak for myself, but I work hard to grow the depth and breadth of my investing knowledge by doing a few things that I enjoy (enjoying all of this is a key to success as well, otherwise this part is torture).
What does the hard work include?
- Reading annual reports of companies that strike me as interesting potential investments.
- Reading investment and business books, but also reading books on technology, pyschology, history, and strategy.
- Reading a lot of magazines and newspapers (I prefer WSJ and The Economist for general news and then a host of other magazines, websites, and blogs for ideas).
- Secret sauce/luck.
And what about luck?
Our views are here.
What authority do you have to speak as an investment pundit?
I'm not a pundit. I don't even like that word! I'm just giving advice based on what's worked for me though it's always good to take advice with a grain (or two) of salt. But you can't go wrong with the general message of this post: always work hard, always try to improve, always be open minded, and realize some or all of success is due to luck.
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