When it comes to investing there are several skills that can be make or break your success. Most people think they can just max out their 401k or IRA and everything's going to be ok. Not so. Latest studies and statics show that expectations for retirement continue to have to be revised downward. You do have choices, but you have to be willing to take responsibility for your own financial future. This is a daunting task when considering how complex the financial markets are, it can seem overwhelming because there is simply so much information and so many opinions. Who is right? Who should you listen to? How do you know what to buy, what to sell? (Much) More importantly how do you know how much to buy and how much to sell and then... when to buy or sell? When it comes to investing skills, there's the outer game and the inner game and my personal conviction is its the inner game that makes or breaks us all. What am I talking about? I'm talking about our ability to control our emotions, to recognize our own biases and to execute a well thought out plan consistently and methodically no matter how much chaos and noise is going on around us.
Internal skills: Patience, emotional self control. Willingness to go against the crowd, ability to take action.
External skills: attention to detail, analytical and accounting skills, healthy skepticism, good contacts, frugality and monthly management