Friday, Feb 14th 2020

Prove yourself wrong


An important lesson on investing from Warren Buffett's right hand man.

This week, a little company called the Daily Journal Corporation (DJCO) held its annual meeting of shareholders.  

It's a meeting that many investors flock to in order to hear the pontifications of legendary investor (and Warren Buffett's right hand man) Charlie Munger.

One of the key themes from this year's meeting was the importance of seeking disconfirming evidence.  

In short, what this means is that if you want to be right, then you should always be trying to prove yourself wrong.

Human beings have a natural tendency to do the opposite - that is, only seeking or focusing on evidence that confirms their existing beliefs and biases.

But in investing, this tends to be a disastrous habit - one that can cause you to stay in bad investments or alternatively overlook great ones.

Munger commented that much of the wealth he's earned in his lifetime has come from making investments in companies that he previously passed on after he realizing he was wrong.

It's easier said than done, but one of the greatest gifts an investor can have is the ability to see that they're wrong, then put that behind them and act in direct contradiction to their prior beliefs.

No one likes to be wrong, but when it comes to investing, an above-average willingness to admit that can be one of the most lucrative abilities.

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