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Continuous learning is continuous improvement

Andrew Lo notes that beating the market does not come easy, nor is it something that is easy to maintain. Lo likens the pursuit of above-average returns to that of a company trying to maintain its competitive advantage. After introducing a hot new product, a company cannot just sit back and wait for the money to roll in. In order to remain above the competition, management must be flexible and look for ways to continuously improve and innovate. Otherwise the competition will overtake them. Money managers, traders and investors who find ways to outperform the market must also remain flexible and innovative. Just because a method works today, does not mean it will work tomorrow. In an interview with Technical Analysis of Stocks and Commodities, Lo sums it up by stating:

“The more creativity you bring to the investment process, the more rewarding it will be. The only way to maintain ongoing success, however, is to constantly innovate. That’s much the same in all endeavors. The only way to continue making money, to continue growing and keeping your profit margins healthy, is to constantly come up with new ideas.”

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