The Great Investors, Their Methods and How We Evaluate Them: Theory

Bill Ziemba divides market participants into five groups. Useful for the purpose of isolating and studying great investors and naturally evolved from the academic study of the efficiency of financial markets

Winning has two parts: getting an edge and then betting well. The former simply means that investments have an advantage so $1 invested returns on average more than $1. The latter involves not overbetting, and truly diversifying in all scenarios in a disciplined, wealth-enhancing way.

This column begins with a categorization of the efficient market camps which is related to how various people try to get an edge. Some feel they cannot get an edge and this then becomes a
self-fulfilling prophesy and they, of course, are not in our list of great or even good investors. Many great investors are Kelly or fractional Kelly bettors who focus on not losing. I will discuss the
records of some great investors and conclude this column with a suggested way to evaluate them.

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