Michel Pireu Columnist

The Cambridge dictionary defines “the right stuff” as the qualities needed to do or to be something, especially something most people would find difficult. In his biography of Warren Buffett, Roger Lowenstein maintains that Buffett’s genius “was largely a genius of character — of patience, discipline and rationality”. That his success came from “an independence of mind and his ability to focus on his work and shut out the world”. Could this be the right stuff — the personal qualities needed — to outperform the market? Patience. There’s no shortage of market commentators who, at one time or another, have maintained the need for patience as a prerequisite for success. As far back as 1688 Joseph de la Vega, the Jewish merchant, speculator, philanthropist and poet, wrote: “He who wishes to become rich from this game must have both money and patience.” “The big money is not in the buying or the selling, but in the sitting,” said investor Jesse Livermore. “A man may see straight and clear...

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