Ask Colin

What are the three most important factors in being a successful investor?

1. Consistency.

John Train says that even a mediocre approach, applied consistently will beat chopping and changing from plan to plan. I cannot put it better than he does.

2. Patience.

Trying to get rich quickly fails most of the time. The real secret is compounding and that takes time. Also, most people think things happen faster than they do in real time. They look at a chart that took 10 years to develop a great uptrend and buy a stock thinking it will happen for them in a few days, weeks or months.

3. Discipline.

This really sums up the other two. You can start off to be consistent and to be patient, but most people cannot do either because they lack discipline. This is the psychological dimension, which really separates the great investors from the rest.