Friday, February 29, 2008

Street Dogs: It’s a matter of reading and asking questions

A QUESTION Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger are often asked is: how do you learn to be a great investor?

"First of all," says Charlie Munger, "you have to understand your own nature. Each person has to play the game given his own marginal utility considerations and in a way that takes into account his own psychology. If losses are going to make you miserable — and some losses are inevitable — you might be wise to utilise a very conservative pattern of investment and saving all your life. So you have to adapt your strategy to your own nature and your own talents. I don't think there's a one-size-fits-all investment strategy that I can give you."

"Next", says Munger, "you have to gather information. I think both Warren and I learn more from the great business magazines than we do anywhere else. It's such an easy, shorthand way of getting a vast variety of business experience just to rifle through issue after issue covering a great variety of businesses. And if you get into the mental habit of relating what you're reading to the basic structure of the underlying ideas being demonstrated, you gradually accumulate some wisdom about investing. I don't think you can get to be a really good broad-range investor without doing a massive amount of reading. I don't think any one book will do it for you."

No comments: