One of the first real creative challenges we face as children is the Connect the Dots exercise. This is the first time we are forced to integrate a number of concepts at the same time – visual, numerical and conceptual. We are required to follow a numerical sequence, draw straight lines with a degree of accuracy and skill and somehow also believe that once complete we will have created something we would never have been able to draw on our own. “Look at me dad! I drew a bird!”
“The stock market is a game of imperfect information and even resembles bridge in that both have their deceptions” Ed Thorp
Even the great Investment Masters see this as one of the most important attributes for success. The ability to gather a wide range of abstract informational pieces, and then string them together to identify a trend or investment opportunity is invaluable if you want to remain ahead of the game.
“Look, my job is essentially just corralling more and more and more facts and information,and occasionally seeing whether that leads to some action” Warren Buffett
"I combine lots of information coming at me from all directions" Steve Cohen
“Tremendous insight is built from intense curiosity and study for your whole life.” Li Lu
"As Thoreau said, "It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see." Warren Buffett
“Visionaries are not people who see things that are not there, but who see things that others do not. As Einstein quipped, “Why do some people see the unseen?” Bennett Goodspeed
"You really have to keep your eyes open" Peter Lynch
“The money game is played in the third and fourth dimension.” Barton Biggs
“I enjoyed using mathematics to solve certain interesting puzzles, which I found first in the world of gambling, then in the world of investing. Making money confirmed my theories by showing that they worked in the real world.” Ed Thorp
Information has become more readily available these days, and one of the issues with that is that everyone has access to the same material. So how do you differentiate? How do you take that same information and turn it into investment gold? Through curiousity and imagination. First by being interested enough to look for the information, and then imaginative enough to turn it into something so different that its valuable.
“Our game is to recognise a big idea when it comes along, when one doesn’t come along very often. Opportunity comes to the prepared mind.” Charlie Munger
“Where do we find our investment ideas? There’s no one answer to that. It comes down to reading, a lot of reading, be it SEC filings, conference-call transcripts, Street research and a variety of industry publications. Our network of professional contacts also serves as a good source for new ideas, and clients even have contributed some of the better names that we’ve come out with. So when people ask where we get these ideas, I don’t have one answer because they come from all different places.” Chris Mittleman
“The further you look for ideas the greater the chance you will see a unique idea.” Jim Chanos