In the popular TV program MasterChef, contestants face a series of cooking challenges. From low quality ingredients to inadequate preparation and poor implementation, so many things can, and do, go wrong. It’s a bit like investing.
In the world of investment, there customarily are two broad approaches. The first is a traditionally active one: Managers attempt to find mispriced securities or seek to time their entry and exit points from various parts of the market.
This first approach is akin to the MasterChef challenge, which requires inventing a new and distinctive dish within a set time frame. The apparent advantage for the chef is flexibility of concept.
But what usually happens is that once the chefs have committed to a chosen recipe, they end up racing against the clock and are locked into particular ingredients to create a single dish. Of course, it may work out, but if they lose attention for a second, the dish is ruined and they have nothing to fall back on.