This week I beat a group of seniors and took $200 from them.
No, I’m not a purse-snatching hooligan who preys on the elderly. I’m just a guy who loves to play poker, and on Tuesday I took a day off to visit the local casino, where I played poker at a table with several amiable older gentlemen. The experience got me thinking about how poker and investing teach many of the same lessons:
Short-term results are meaningless. I’ve played poker alongside some truly bad players who always seem to hit miracle straights or flushes and scoop big pots. When these players beat you, it can make you wonder whether you should be playing differently — maybe you should start playing more hands, or calling big bets with weak draws, since it seems to be working so well for that guy. Investors fall into this same trap when they second-guess the Couch Potato strategy during every period of poor returns. In both poker and investing, you need to stick to a proven strategy: you will succeed in the long run, even if you have to suffer streaks of bad luck.
Play the percentages,