Great investors and playing cards…

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On another platform, someone asked the question, Why are many great investors also great card players? It could be Bridge, Blackjack or even Poker.

Here are my thoughts on this subject. Investing is similar to card games because:

  • In both you are given a hand (or an investment idea) that can be quite random – it can be terrible sometimes, or very good at other times.
  • Both involve dealing with massive uncertainty. You need to be able to process and organize all the uncertainty and take decisions.
  • Uncertainty has to be converted into probability of expected events, and your investment (and card) calls have to be based on events you feel as most likely or very likely to happen.
  • In both investing and cards, players have to be defensive (inactive) and aggressive, depending on the situation. Not just from game to game, but even within a game, circumstances can change fast and acting decisively and boldly is required for success.
  • In both, people need to go beyond the obvious to succeed, and build a sense, or a gut feel of the situation. Their subconscious has been trained to help them decide, over years of practice. The most successful players get the available information and then just take the call. Getting a rational explanation from them for their decisions may be difficult, even if they wanted to tell you.

Cheers and happy investing. And playing cards.

Punit Jain, JainMatrix Investments

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