8. Lessons Learned

“If we knew what we were doing, we wouldn’t call it research”—Albert Einstein

In the stock-picking business, they say that if you are right 60 percent of the time, you’re a big success. It’s not like shooting free throws in the NBA, where if you hit only 60 percent, you’d be selling popcorn in the stands. In the stock-picking business, 60 percent is not a bad percentage.

I often tell people, when you meet a new money manager or financial planner, be wary if he or she doesn’t come forth early on with the mistakes they’ve made. I’ve had some real lollapaloozas. The first one came when I was 23 years old and working for Kidder Peabody & Co. in Boston. I would hope that I’ve learned some things since then, but maybe not.

The firm’s ...

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