Michel Pireu Columnist

In 2007, Mark Sellers of Sellers Capital told a class of Harvard MBAs that there are at least seven traits shared by great investors that are true sources of competitive advantage, "because they can’t be learned once a person reaches adulthood, or can’t ever be learned at all".

Trait #1 is the ability to buy stocks when others are panicking and sell stocks when others are euphoric. "Everyone thinks they can, but when the market crashes few have the stomach to buy – or the willingness to sell at the top." Trait #2 is an obsession with playing the game and wanting to win. "Unfortunately, you can’t learn to be obsessive about something. You either are, or you aren’t."

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, ProfileData financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Times Select.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email helpdesk@businesslive.co.za or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now