Weekend Reading: Learning to Be a Good Investor is Hard

This article appears as part of Casey Weade's Weekend Reading for Retirees series. Every Friday, Casey highlights four hand-picked articles on trending retirement topics and delivers them straight to your email inbox. Get on the list here.
Weekend reading learning good investing Weekend reading learning good investing
Weekend Reading

What makes a good investor? While mastering the art of patience plays a role, it also comes down to learning and feedback.


The risk of poor feedback: When you place your hand on a stove top, it burns. You learn your lesson quickly and know better next time. However, the issue with learning how to be a good investor is that it requires time. There is no instant feedback. Although you might get “burned” in the short-term upon making an investment decision, the long-term gains of that choice can potentially outweigh losses that occurred at the onset.

Get empowered, seek education: How can you feel confident in your financial decisions if feedback is so delayed? There are two ways to learn better investing: From your own experience, and for an even larger body of evidence, from the experience of others. That being said, sifting through what to retain from other investors can be overwhelming, so to close the poor feedback loops, some of the additional steps listed here include:

📌 Ignore near-term feedback as much as possible.

📌 Decide what type of feedback is useful.

📌 Learn the right things from the right people.

📌 Focus on general principles rather than specific stories.

Zoom out: It’s easy to take the feedback you’ve received from investing and make quick determinations of “good” or “bad”. However, it’s important to step back and look at the big picture, given that poor feedback loops are inherent to investing.