Earlier this week I was talking to a friend who was about to speak to our local high school football team. The takeaway from his message was going to be that success requires an attitude that you will outwork your competition. Winners outwork their opponents. Not just on game day, but everyday. In order to be the best football team in the conference every player on the team must come to each practice 100% committed to outworking the opponent. Success takes work. Hard work produces winners.

As I thought about this I realized how similar this philosophy is to investing. I was reminded of what William O’Neil said in his book, How to Make Money in Stocks:

Many long evenings of study led to precise rules, disciplines, and a plan that finally worked. Luck had nothing to do with it; it was persistence and hard work. You can’t expect to watch television, drink beer every night, or party with all your friends and still find the answers to something as complex as the stock market or the American economy. In America, anyone can do anything by working at it. If you get discouraged, don’t ever give up. Go back and put in some detailed extra effort. It’s always the study and learning time you put in after nine to five, Monday through Friday, that ultimately makes the difference between winning and reaching your goals or missing out on truly great (and profitable!) opportunities.

This is great advice from two people whom I highly respect. You can’t expect to succeed with your investments without doing your homework. To truly understand the markets and to exploit trends you’ve got to do some work. Spend some time reading how others have been successful. Study charts, price action, and company fundamentals. Learn what works and what doesn’t. And most importantly, be sure you understand what NOT to do. Have a plan and set some rules regarding buying, selling, and risk management.

Sound overwhelming? Don’t have the time or desire to do the work? That’s fine. My firm can do it for you. Contact us to see how we might be able to help you.