The No. 1 Trait of a Successful Investor

The office of an average hedge fund looks something like this: Rows of Ivy League grads sit at desks with four computer monitors, three telephones, a Bloomberg terminal, and a Red Bull. Everyone is poring over financial data, charts, and reports while frantically working the phones and often screaming at one another. It's about as high-stress as it gets.

Yet most hedge funds underperform a basic S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC  ) index fund. High IQ and mountains of data don't automatically guarantee good performance.

Last week, I sat down with famed value investor Mohnish Pabrai, whose office looks nothing like an ordinary hedge fund. It's essentially just him in a small room -- and yet he has crushed the market over the last decade.

I asked him about his simplistic approach and how it helps him achieve high returns. Here's what he had to say.

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  • Report this Comment On December 17, 2012, at 3:00 PM, catoismymotor wrote:

    Spear the salmon!

  • Report this Comment On December 22, 2012, at 8:23 PM, Sunny7039 wrote:

    "It's essentially just him in a small room -- and yet he has crushed the market over the last decade."

    You know, this also described a lot of people, including a lot of successful small investors, . . . and also including Madoff.

    I'm not criticizing this person. I know nothing about him, and have no reason to suspect anything negative about him. I'm criticizing this rhetoric. It promotes the wrong mindset.

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