Let’s face it you suck at investing. Your adviser sucks at investing too. If you had picked the best stock to buy every day you could have turned $1000 into $264 billion by mid December. That is a 26.4 billion percent return. Did you even get a 1 billion percent return? How about 1 million percent? 1000%? 100%? If you did not hit a 100% return then you did not get even 4/10 millionths of what was out there. Translation: You suck at stock picking. People like Jack Bogle will use this type of data to tell you that you are wasting your time even trying and that you should just index your portfolio. Coincidentally he runs a few dollars in an index fund. I find it more interesting when some manager makes a killing and convinces themselves that they are geniuses. No one in this game is a genius. 100% return sucks remember? When you dig into more of these people, the elite suckers, the ones that can do it again and again, they all have one thing in common. It is not that they are on television and have great hair. Have you noticed that they usually are a bit modest about their results? The one thing they have in common is that they all have a process and are continually trying to improve it. Yes there is still skill involved to be an elite sucker, but all of them also know that they are not as good as they can be and are trying to be better everyday. They work at it full time, all the time. And the best they can do is make less than 4/10 millionths of the best possible return out there. Where else can you strive to achieve that kind of suckiness and be called a superstar? There are only 3 days left in the trading year and you are not likely to materially change your return against market perfection. But those 3 days are 3 more days to try to get better at what you do. To suck less. If you had a ‘good’ year, beating your benchmark then congratulations. But move on and keep trying to get better, because you still suck.

Happy New Year.


Greg Harmon, Dragonfly Captial

Category: Cognitive Foibles, Psychology, Think Tank, Trading

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

5 Responses to “Greg Harmon: We Are All Useless Morons that Suck”

  1. Andrew Guild says:

    Awesome, Greg. A kick in the pants is always better than a trophy for everyone.

  2. RW says:

    Oh amen: After my first 10-bagger I congratulated myself for weeks and then my quarterly review made me tally up all the losers it took to get there to say nothing of those that came after; damn!

    I’ll still congratulate myself for a big winner, how not, but it’s considerably more tempered.

    • RW says:

      NB: Before I learned about learning I used to believe that focusing on failure was the sign of a loser but, like most things, it depends on how you do it and do it you must or face at least one of two increasingly likely futures: (1) Disaster and (2) Despair; I believe this is true for nations and institutions no less than individuals.

      “Our achievements speak for themselves. What we have to keep track of are our failures, discouragements, and doubts. We tend to forget the past difficulties, the many false starts, and the painful groping. We see our past achievements as the end result of a clean forward thrust, and our present difficulties as signs of decline and decay.” -Eric Hoffer

  3. VennData says:

    NO! This year will be the a stockpickers year!

    Give me your money, I’ll show you.

  4. Jim says:

    I agree with the sentiment. We could all be better and should try to get better.

    Quartz could be better at math and market realities.
    Once your account entered into the billions you would be trading whole companies not to mention the fact that you can’t start each day buying all the shares you would need at the previous days close. The Quartz article is a lot of noise and not much signal unless you are curious as to the best performing stock each day.