Investing is Hard Work

A few years ago I bought a little gem of a book entitled Study is Hard Work. It had loads of practical advice for scholars, teachers, and everyone who has ever struggled over Moby Dick or The Feynman Lectures. And it has some practical advice for investors as well.

Among the exhortations to concentrate, organize your schedule, and grow your vocabulary is an emphasis on interest, or desire. If you cannot find within your heart the desire to learn, the text notes, then no help from without will assist you. In the same way, a successful investor has to be consumed by investments.

What is the structure of the equity market now, in light of hedge fund micro-trading? Will Treasuries ever reflect increased credit risk, or can we assume—as Paul Krugman does—that the appetite for ultra-low Treasury yields means there really is no limit to the government’s ability to borrow—at least for now. And are property values finally finding a bottom?

It’s not just that inquiring minds want to know. It’s that these things matter when you’re building a portfolio. If Greek debt and gold bugs and bankruptcy-remote trusts sound like blah, blah, blah to you, then investing isn’t your thing. Get someone to do it for you.

Good investing is hard. It takes knowledge, organization, and discipline. But passion is indispensible.

Douglas R. Tengdin, CFA
Chief Investment Officer
Hit reply if you have any questions—I read them all!

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