Attributes of a good Investor

The purpose of this article is to try to convey the right attribute of a good investor. These attributes are based on previous successful investors.

Introducing the Investor

The link between a Great Investor and their attributes
I believe that a person needs several attributes to become a good investor. Without any one of these five main attributes, the chain is broken and a person will make more mistakes when taking investment decisions. Let me know what you think about these attributes. The five attributes are as follows:

  1. Basic Intelligence - Whilst the likes of great investors such as Graham and Buffett are considered highly intelligent people, both performing well beyond their classmates, it is a misconception to think that you have to be a mathematics genius to trade stocks to any decent level. A good investor needs to be able to perform basic mathematics calculations such as addition, subtraction, and taking percentages. Furthermore a person needs to be able to interpret a companies balance sheets. To see how these two skills work in conjunction with each other read this article.
  2. Hard-working - Becoming a good investor takes a lot of hard work. It can be boring to perform all the research and reading required to make a good investment. You may need to read through twenty plus financial reports before you've found a decent stock. To generate the investment capital also takes a lot of hard work by saving and budgeting.
  3. Patience - Warren Buffett once said that his ideal time horizon for holding a stock would be forever. Whilst we may not all have this sort of time on our hands (;P), too many investors try to make short term, quick profits. Unless you're trading in 'The City' you are very unlikely to make this sort of quick profit. The only way to beat 'The City' is to ignore their turbulent ways and invest for the long term (5 to 10 years).
  4. Calm - I believe that this is the hardest attribute to acquire. It is very easy to panic when a share price falls and sell at a loss or get too excited when a price goes up and sell too early or too late. You need to be unaffected by daily swings in share prices. It is advisable that you should be willing to see your investment halve before acting (unless of course your investment decision was totally wrong).
  5. Self-Belief - Following on from the previous attribute, you need to have self-belief in your investment decisions, particularly if there are falls in the price of shares held. Have faith in your investment process and don't act upon these short term changes. Particularly ignore tips and advice from friends who disagree with your investment decisions.

Do you think I have left out any attributes? Do you disagree with the attributes here? How many attributes do you fulfil?

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Rob said...

Only two I'd add is perseverance (ability to get bad on your feet after being kicked in the face) and ability to think outside the box (ability to see what everyone else had miss staring them in the face).

Mr. Moneybanks said...

Thanks Rob. I think perseverance can be forced into 'hard-working' and 'patience' but I see your point. You are right: Thinking outside the box would make you a GREAT investor but I think that any person can aspire to do the basics right to become a good investor.