Over a long career you learn a certain humility and are quicker to attribute success to luck rather than your own brilliance. I think that makes you a better investor, because you're less apt to make the big mistake and you're probably quicker to capitalize on good fortune when it shines upon you.
An early mentor of mine, T. Edmund Beck, started out during the Depression and used to always say we were in the rejection business that we're paid to be cynical and that a big part of success in investing is knowing how to say no. He never dwelled on missed opportunities because something else even [...]
With six analysts and the amount of money we have, [50 to 60 positions] has turned out to be what we feel we can best manage. It's not more concentrated out of prudence and humility. There's always a chance we'll be wrong on any given idea.
It's important to realize that the brain isn't programmed like a computer, and that every individual can approach problems and issues in a unique way. Even at my age, I try to remain flexible and open to new ideas and ways of approaching things. That keeps me from being a frustrated pedagogue and also allows [...]
It's important to play to your strengths. As an investor, I'm not a home-run hitter and can't think of a lot of securities on which I've made 10 times my money. But I also can't think of a lot of securities, post-1970, on which I've lost a meaningful amount of capital. Success in investing is [...]