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AFR Smart Money, November 2016

We’ve all done it. An investment in a sure-fire stock which instead of soaring, sinks like a stone. An ahead-of-the-herd call on where your money should be, only to find that the herd were right and you were wrong. An investment in a product with a guarantee which turns out to be no guarantee at all.

But, as that frankly underrated investment guru Friedrich Nietzsche had it, what does not kill me makes me stronger. And even the finest investor will tell you that a mistake is not all bad if you learn something from it.

Not convinced? In this article we ask several of the industry’s brightest minds to share some of their investment faux pas – and what they took from the experience to make themselves better investors.

Kerry Series, portfolio manager of 8ip Emerging Companies (listed on the ASX as 8EC), learned early on how things can go awry. In September 1987 he took his first front office job as a UK equities sales trader, an appointment which almost immediately coincided with one of the worst stock market crashes in British history. “At the same time, I personally had a long futures position,” he recalls. He was 19: he lost a few thousand pounds, but at that age, it felt like everything.

Chris Wright
Chris Wright
Chris is a journalist specialising in business and financial journalism across Asia, Australia and the Middle East. He is Asia editor for Euromoney magazine and has written for publications including the Financial Times, Institutional Investor, Forbes, Asiamoney, the Australian Financial Review, Discovery Channel Magazine, Qantas: The Australian Way and BRW. He is the author of No More Worlds to Conquer, published by HarperCollins.

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