Archive for November, 2007

Aesthetics and investing

November 8, 2007

I often think of stock investing as similar to chess or baduk, or some other high-level game of strategy and tactics. There is a blend of the analytical and the intuitive, and a clear definition of winning and losing. The added bonus is that you can make good money off it if you develop sufficient skill.

But one interesting difference is that high-level strategy activities often have an aesthetic quality. The great games of chess, even poker, are described as being beautiful. Even sports with a fair amount of strategy are described as having aesthetic value when done well.

Nobody ever talks about trading as being beautiful. If anything, its intangibles are often considered to be negatives: shallowness, materialism, greed, etc.

Is this just a bias against investing (because money is involved, perhaps)? Or is it true that a great game of chess can be beautiful in a way that great investing never is?