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For those of you who can beat the market


west
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Just curious, for those of you who have beaten the market, about how long did it take before you could do it reliably?  A few years?  A decade or more?

 

I'm still fairly new at investing.  I've only got about two real, understanding what I'm doing years under my belt (but lots and lots of hours).  And I'm still stuggling with the psychological aspect of things.

 

I'm guessing this goes away quite a bit once you've "broken through"?

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There are both professional and amateur investors here, so the answer may be a bit different for each group.  I'm an amateur investing my own money and some family money.  I've been reading and investing for probably 15 years.  I got value religion after spending a lot of time reading about Berkshire and finding Parsad's old board on MSN.  It's only in the last 5-6 years that I've developed real confidence in what I'm doing.  Honestly, weathering the market of 2008/09 and being able to put money to work under those circumstances as well as selling cheap to buy cheaper was a great test, which I feel I passed.

 

I'm no longer overly concerned with "beating the market".  It's still the yardstick I use to see if I'm adding value (I am), but it's more about process and making good decisions.  Feeling confident that I know what I own and have a good basis for my valuation makes a huge difference for me.  If I'm confident about my assessment, it will keep me from second guessing myself as prices go down and allow me to add to positions as appropriate rather than panic about a declining stock price.

 

This is all much more art than science, so I would guess that there will always be doubts.  The future's uncertain after all, and you'll never bat 1.000.  I think all you can do is keep reading, keep learning, and correct mistakes as quickly as possible.

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