Jim Parker, the Regional Director of Dimensional Funds Advisors Australia, posts a regular commentary on the DFA website. The latest edition highlights the success of an American waitress, Mary Sue Williams, in a stock picking competition run by CNBC. She is in line to win the million dollar first prize ahead of 375,000 contestants. She has never bought or sold a real stock in her life. The secret of her success: "Part of it was luck ... a lot of it was gut feeling, some eenie-meenie-minie-moe, and common sense." Mary has beaten thousands of financial professionals who have the benefit of high quality university degrees and complex software.
This is more anecdotal evidence that successful stock picking is more about chance rather than experience or expertise. This is part of the story behind the thinking that we use in building our investment portfolios, also based on academic research, that suggests you can not regularly beat the market and it is better to hold an index style approach to investing. For more details on this philosophy take a look at our webpage - Building Portfolios.
For more details of Mary's story take a look at the BusinessWeek article.
Good on ya Mary.