The best practices of the most successful investors — with winning track records that span decades — can be clearly defined, easily understood, and simply measured in real time.
But, very few people take the time to understand and follow them. After nearly forty years as an analyst, trader, and investor, Chris Belchamber wrote Invest Like the Best to reveal the most common pitfalls, barriers, habits, and beliefs that can send investors in the wrong direction, with sometimes devastating consequences. He wants to help readers learn how to recognize and avoid these issues in your own investing as you discover more than twenty Best Investor insights and find the real relationship between risk and return.
I recently caught up with Chris to learn about his journey writing the book, the biggest lesson he learned along the way, and how he’ll apply that lesson moving forward in his life.
What happened that made you decide to write the book? What was the exact moment you realized these ideas needed to get out there?
Over forty years, I have been aware that many investors don’t adopt a systematic approach to their investing. What surprised me when I joined investment management companies, who could handle my compliance for me, was that this was widely true even amongst investment management “experts,” and to a similar extent. The best principles and practices, to my own understanding, were not a given or even widely discussed.
The extent of this problem was much wider than I had realized. I felt that this needed to be written down to be better understood, and help investors more widely.
There did not seem to be many good sources explaining best investment practices, what the best investors did, and what a difference it makes. I hope this book fills some of the key gaps in information and will help people get on a much better track.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned going through the journey you share in the book?
The biggest lesson I have learnt is the crucial importance for investors to take responsibility and to at least understand what their own investor game actually is.
If you don’t understand your own game deeply you are likely going to end up investing sub-optimally, or worse, running into problematic situations. Misunderstanding behaviour, being unaware of complexity, and confusion about risk and return are widespread issues.
I hope this helps resolve these crucial elements of investing.
How will you apply this lesson in your life moving forward?
What works for “best investing” applies very widely to all human activity. The insights of the best practitioners helps us realize so much about how we operate in many situations and how we can do better. So many problems are much more complex and behavioural than is generally understood. The tools from how to develop a productive mindset has much broader applications. These impact not just your own behavior but help you understand others.
A very big difference is in learning how to go about making decisions. It is important to think more widely and carefully when it comes to big decisions.