The Investor’s Manifesto – by William J. Bernstein | Derek Sivers:

The reason why 90 percent of investors and fund managers cannot pick stocks is simple: Whenever you buy or sell a stock or bond, there is someone on the other side of that trade, and that someone most likely has a name like Goldman Sachs, PIMCO, or Warren Buffett. There is even something worse than trading with Buffett, and that is trading with a top executive of the company whose stock you are buying or selling, and who likely knows more about its condition and prospects than even the smartest and best-informed security analyst. Trading individual stocks is like playing tennis against an invisible opponent; what you don?t realize is that you are volleying with the Williams sisters.

In an environment filled with incredibly smart, hard-working, and well-informed participants, the smartest trading strategy is not to trade at all.