Every now and then, I get asked how can the individual investor learn to invest like Warren Buffet (an iconoclastic personality) or invest so they’re not always following the herd. The simple answer, aside from turning off financial television…
The wise advice for the individual investor: be conservative, don’t listen to brokerage advice, and index. – Michael Lewis
By index, of course, he’s talking low cost index funds where you simply buy the S&P 500, Russell 2000, or whatever index you like at the time.
But the interesting thing here, at least from the psychological perspective, is how a really bad investing experience like Lewis’ might be able to teach an individual investor how to avoid chasing potential gains (e.g. fear of missing out on profits is greater than losing money), avoid investing in the same crap everyone else is buying for the sake of staying safe within the herd, and learn how to go your own way. In other words, develop and grow an iconoclast personality trait that might not have been present prior to losing a bundle.
Think it’s possible? Ever been so badly burned that it made you gun-shy for life? If so, what made you jump back on the ol’ horse, so to speak?