Confidence and conviction are the keys to success in asset management. Analysts projecting these traits become more likely candidates for promotion; clients gravitate to portfolio managers who radiate assurance about future performance. However, these qualities do a disservice to optimal decision making and long-term investment performance. The future is too complex to justify such levels of confidence.
In Reasons to Pass, the seasoned practitioner Ralph Birchmeier argues that an optimal portfolio-building strategy means patiently waiting for the few investments worthy of capital allocation. He outlines the principles required for success then examines specific reasons to pass on investments, detailing behavioral biases that disrupt optimal decision making. Although professional and retail investors alike are tempted by various opportunities, the wisdom of experience proves the value of prudence. An investing strategy built to last requires humility and the willingness to accept uncertainty; most of the time, it’s best to pass.
Reasons to Pass brings investing back to the basics, helping readers navigate the complexity of the financial landscape and bringing clarity to the investment process. By underscoring the perils of overconfidence and the importance of humility, this book offers invaluable new perspective on investing for the long term.