The Art of Investing

“It’s obvious that studying history and philosophy was much better preparation for the stock market than, say, studying statistics. Investing in stocks is an art, not a science, and people who’ve been trained to rigidly quantify everything have a big disadvantage.” -Peter Lynch


For more than twenty years, I’ve invested in individual stocks with a passionate obsession. I’m on a never-ending journey fraught with emotion, discovery, and relentless pursuit. This voyage, highlighted by successes and failures, has been profoundly shaped by education, experience, and an insatiable curiosity. Yet, amidst the quantitative analyses and financial models, I’ve come to realize that investing transcends mere numbers; it’s an art form in its own right, that requires a delicate balance of analytical rigor and creativity.

Painting by Jake Bleicher, Portfolio Manager

From the hallowed halls of academia to the grueling curriculum of the CFA program, perhaps nothing grew more than my ego. Armed with theoretical knowledge and a belief that the textbook was gospel, I set out with unwavering confidence to try my hand at investing, only to be swiftly humbled by the stark realities of the market. Each setback served as a reminder of the complexities inherent in investing. I learned, through trial and error, that success in the market demands much more than academic prowess.

Businesses, I’ve come to realize, are like living organisms that grow and evolve; they also succumb to illness and inevitably die. Attempting to distill their essence into mere numerical metrics, that represent only a snapshot in time, overlooks the rich tapestry of details that make each company unique. Each business possesses its own identity, shaped by a myriad of factors – from leadership dynamics, industry trends, and the ever changing world in which they operate. Investing, I’ve come to appreciate, is much more an art than a science.

Stay on Top of Market Trends

The Carson Investment Research newsletter offers up-to-date market news, analysis and insights. Subscribe today!

About five years ago, my dad gifted me painting lessons for my birthday and it has since grown into another passion of mine. Like investing, painting is a deeply subjective endeavor that is guided by intuition, emotion, and interpretation. Art has helped me to think differently about investing. A canvas, much like an investment thesis, serves as a blank slate for expression, inviting the artist to weave a narrative that is both grounded in reality and also captures the imagination of viewer. Similar to proportion and perspective in painting, an investment thesis must be grounded in reality, for which financial statements serve their intended purpose. Yet it is the imagination, or the unknown, that we truly invest in. An investor who buys stock in a business is not investing in the past, indeed it is only the future that will dictate the returns.

Painting by Jake Bleicher, Portfolio Manager

In the world of finance, uncertainty is viewed with trepidation. Academics label it as risk with the preferred definition of volatility. Yet, the unknown isn’t quantifiable. I view the future as a canvas of opportunity, one that is impossible to precisely forecast but where innovative businesses often thrive. Amidst market turbulence and economic upheaval, it is the creative side of my brain that is of most value. When a company is highly out of favor, it is often an ideal time to invest, but one won’t find comfort in analyzing the numbers. It takes an imagination to envision what the business could become in the future.

While uncertainty causes anxiety, I’ve learned to embrace it, recognizing that within the uncertainty lies the possibility of astonishing outcomes. I find, it is the unknown that makes investing most exciting. Patiently investing in businesses, over years and decades, can lead to possibilities you would have never imagined in your wildest dreams.


For more content by Jake Bleicher, Portfolio Manager click here.







Get in Touch

In 15 minutes we can get to know your situation, then connect you with an advisor committed to helping you pursue true wealth.

Contact Us
Questions to Consider During a Market Downturn

Questions to Consider During a Market Downturn

Prepare yourself, your clients and your team for the inevitable. Download Your Copy