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The Beauty of Boring, Successful Investing is Dull

brown and white English bulldog lying on grey pavement

“If investing is entertaining, if you’re having fun, you’re probably not making any money. Good investing is boring.” - George Soros

Hollywood makes investing out to be an action-packed affair. Traders screaming on the phone, papers flying, underdog geniuses crunching numbers to uncover million dollar insights. Now some of this does happen, but it's very rare.

Stock picking itself is seldom successful, over 80% of active fund managers fail to beat their benchmark. Index investing - where you're trying to be the market instead of trying to beat the market, has been shown time and time again to be the most reliable and sensible way to invest.

Of course, no one would watch a movie about a group of do-it-yourself investors buying ETFs and slowly building up a comfortable retirement. 

Successful investing is dull, this is something investors should accept. It's simply having a plan, saving your money and investing regularly in a risk-appropriate portfolio. It's not complicated or exciting, but boring works.

If you're seeking excitement, it's best not to do so with your retirement savings. You're better off taking up a new hobby, going backpacking, or skydiving. These are less expensive and safer alternatives. Yes, even skydiving is safer. There's only a  0.0007% chance you'll have a fatally, whereas with stock picking, you're a near-guaranteed loser.

Chasing exciting investments is inherently counterproductive. The more exciting a stock or asset, the more likely it's overbought, over-owned and overpriced. These are characteristics for low future returns. Consider the folks who FOMO'd into bitcoin in late 2017 at the height of the mania, only to have it crash 70%.

Resist the appeal of excitement, embrace the boredom, and get rich slow.

“Investing should be more like watching paint dry or watching grass grow. If you want excitement, take $800 and go to Las Vegas.” — Paul Samuelson


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