MICHEL PIREU: The winner is the person who makes the fewest mistakes
Charles Ellis’s advice is to do the things you do best — over and over and over again
In 1975 Charles Ellis published an article in the Financial Analysts Journal that advanced the provocative proposition that investing is a game dominated by losers. Even though his central thesis that investing is a Loser’s Game represented a profound challenge to conventional thinking, his paper was recognised with the Graham and Dodd Award for Excellence.
“The trouble with Winner’s Games,” explained Ellis, “is that they tend to self-destruct because they attract too much attention and too many players — all of whom want to win. But in the short run the rushing in of more and more players seeking to win expands the apparent reward and that’s what happened in Wall Street during the 1960s […] The market came to be dominated by the institutions. And that made all the difference. The professional money manager wasn’t competing any longer with amateurs who were out of touch with the market; he was now competing with other experts.”..