Monday, May 9, 2011

Is it possible to be scared of a book?

Ordinarily I would say no. But as I grabbed The Intelligent Investor off the shelf this weekend for the first time since I bought it in 2008, I realized it is. This book has been called the greatest investment book of all time by Warren Buffett! It was written by the father of value investing, Ben Graham. For an analogy,

Sun Tzu : War :: Ben Graham : Investing.

Suffice it to say, I was intimidated. Enough to put off reading the book for over three years. If I read the book and then didn't live up to the legends who internalized this tome and went on to rack up the best records in the business, then I'd be a failure. If I could just delay reading it then I could delay the day I would have to look critically at my own performance. People love scapegoats, and not reading The Intelligent Investor became mine. But yesterday something changed. I realized I am not succeeding according to Coach Wooden's definition of success:

“Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to become the best of which you are capable.”

I know that I will never realize my potential as an investor without this knowledge. So I grabbed it off the shelf and began. I'm ready now. I'm no longer afraid.

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