1) Commitment. I know that Englishman is more committed… He is not clocking in and clocking out. This is the primary thing consuming his brain. He’ll be able to beat the guys who aren’t expected to think in no time. Among two roughly equally skilled competitors, the one with deeper commitment usually wins.
2) Homework. You need to know more than the other guy – your competition. This means educating yourself (reading) and crunching numbers yourself. I recommend some resources to get educated at the bottom of this email.
3) Experience. Unless you’re Tiger Woods, even with all the skills and commitment, you’re not going to win big your first year. But at first, you at least need to be in the game. All the reading about golf in the world isn’t going to make you a good golfer if you’re not on the course. Keep paying your dues (by investing), take personal responsibility for your losses and try to learn from them, and the big profits will come.
4) Thinking for yourself. Along my investment education I’ve been amazed to find that there are only a couple of folks out there who think for themselves. These names include Jim Rogers, Bill Gross and Warren Buffett. But it is an amazingly short list. Remember, the employees of a brokerage firm are not paid to think for themselves. So you’ll be able to beat the brokerage firms in no time. If you’re simply copying their advice, you’ll never beat them.
5) Avoiding major mistakes. The “catastrophic loss” is what kills you. You can’t afford to lose it all. Cut your losses early. Use trailing stops. Do whatever it takes to keep your downside limited and your upside unlimited. Pretty soon, one day, that unlimited upside will show up in your account…