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The Little Book: That Still Beats the Market by Joel Greenblatt

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Chapter 10. Chapter Ten

I LOVE SAILING.

I'm not very good at sailing.

I know this, not just from the fact that my wife and kids are scared to go with me, but from hard experience. Once, through a slight miscalculation of wind and water speed, I was 20 feet away from being slammed by a barge at least three football fields long. I remember this quite well, because I had my wife as a passenger (who hates boats anyway) while I was busy pulling the starter cord on my little five-horsepower outboard engine (darn thing never works when you really need it) as the giant barge blasted its horn for me to get out of the way.

Usually sailboats have the right of way over motorboats, but since 9-billion-pound barges don't steer all that quickly, the right-of-way thing gets switched around (good to keep in mind if it ever comes up). So there I was, repeatedly pulling the worthless starter cord while trying to act like I had everything under control (just so my wife's last words wouldn't be "I hate this stupid boat!"), when a final puff of wind helped us sail out of danger.

I'm recounting this story not because I enjoy sailing alone. I actually like having company (preferably brave or blind company). I'm telling you this because even though I'm clearly not a good sailor, I still love sailing. And that's the same way many people feel about investing in the stock market. They may not be particularly good at it, or they may not know whether they are any good at it, but there's something about the process ...

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