In this presentation by Bill Ackman he discusses the reasons behind his failed investment in JC Penny. He also makes the point that successful investing involves making mistakes saying:
A I said at the beginning, experiences, making mistakes, and learning from mistakes. Unfortunately as students you haven’t made many mistakes yet. If you’ve gotten to Oxford at this point in your career the biggest risk is you probably haven’t screwed up a lot.
The risk of that is when data comes across your desk that’s inconsistent with your being successful you’re less likely to pay attention to it than if you’ve made a few mistakes. So I encourage you to make some mistakes and actually I’ve made plenty of over the course of my career and I think I’ve been very successful over time but it’s not been a straight line up.
In fact I had if I were a stock it would look something like this [pointing up]. After business school you know and then so the concern is whether this is coming in [pointing down]. But so far the overall trend has generally been positive but there are certainly bumps along the way.
You can watch the entire presentation here:
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