The hardest work in investing
Solomon writes in Proverbs 13:11: "Wealth gained hastily will dwindle, but whoever gathers little by little will increase it.” While this verse is easy to understand, it can be difficult to implement.
It's Not Intellectual, It's Emotional
Disciplined investing often requires more grit than intelligence. Charley Ellis states in Winning the Loser's Game, "The hardest work in investing is not intellectual; it's emotional...The hardest work is not figuring out the optimal investment policy; it's sustaining a long-term focus—particularly at market highs or market lows—and staying committed to your optimal investment policy...That's why benign neglect is, for most investors, the secret of long-term success." In other words, successful investing comes from focusing on what we can control—disciplined stewardship—and not worrying about what we can’t control—market volatility.
Warren Buffett once expressed the same idea in more intriguing terms: "Lethargy bordering on sloth remains the cornerstone of our investment style."