Quote du Jour: Keynes on “reputation”

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Keynes’ oft-cited “reputation” quotation bears careful consideration:

“… it is the long-term investor … who will in practice come in for most criticism wherever investment funds are managed by committees or boards or banks. For it is the essence of his behavior that he should be eccentric, unconventional and rash in the eyes of average opinion. If he is successful, that will only confirm the general belief in his rashness; and if in the short run he is unsuccessful, which is very likely, he will not receive much mercy. Worldly wisdom teaches that it is better for reputation to fail conventionally than to succeed unconventionally.”

Food for thought indeed.

Hat tip: Rob Arnott, Research Affiliates – Fundamentals, November 2010.

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