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Charlie said.....

"But I think the bottom line is this. You don't learn bond investing by reading about it. You learn it by doing it, one decision and one position at a time, and the learning never stops."

I agree with you...but...reading is ALSO absolutely a fundamental requirement for mere mortals like myself. To be quite honest, I'm not smart enough or insightful enough to ferret out many of the key elements of successful investing on my own. The more I read, the more epiphanies I have. However, as you suggest, reading the work of others doesn't get the job done on its own. The individual investor needs to follow up by putting his learnings to work for himself the best way he knows how....and of course the techniques learned from books are refined and perfected by learning from his own successes and failures.

About the only thing I think I'm good at is picking and choosing from the best practices of others and assembling them into composite techniques that work well for me.

Reading to learn and develop successful investment techniques is easily more effective now than ever because of the internet. We now have the luxury of reading books that provide insight (in most cases) and discussing those techniques, successes, and failures with active practioners like yourself more or less real time. I've learned a great deal from your generous sharing as well as Jack's and a few others on this and other message board.

Honestly, I'm still amazed how openly you share the structure of your portfolio, your successes, your failures, and honest critiques of your own performance. In general, I'm a very confident person but I'm NOT confident enough to put myself "out there" like you do.
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