If Investing Were an Exam, Here Are the Traits of Investors Who Score A, B+, and B

Ron Markley
4 min readFeb 27, 2024
Photo by Alexander Grey on Unsplash

I have read about and met many successful investors to extract their traits.

If investing were an exam, here are the traits of a successful investor Who Score A, B+, and B:

A Grade: The Unique Independent Thinkers

Expected return: 15–20% CAGR

Photo by Finde Zukunft on Unsplash

Unique independent thinkers represent the top 1% of the investing world. Their outstanding returns come from doing the right thing when others are wrong.

This might involve:

  • Investing in wonderful companies facing short-term distress and disliked by other players.
  • Shorting currencies that are pegged, which other players believe will never de-peg.
  • Shorting Credit Default Swaps, offering 10–20 times the reward, in a housing market that bankers think will never collapse.

As Warren Buffett said, “The dumb things other people do create good opportunities.”

However, being a contrarian or independent thinker alone is not enough. You need to blend your…