Balance for Investment Success:
No matter what, there will always be just a few at the top. This the natural balance to anything. Unfortunately most people at any point in time do not have the realization of what it takes to get and stay at the top of any game. For example, most work to invest; few work at investing. Embodied in this principle is quite a bit more than perceived at first glance. In fact this balance of participants in the financial markets is essential to the viability of modern financial economies. Without it successful investing will not be possible. If all participants in the economy were successful, and professional investors there would be no workers to produce the activity in which professional investors invest. As more non-professional investors and their money flow into the public markets, the competitive advantage that professional investors already possess increases. The natural balance of things dictates that most will "work to invest" rather than become professional investors and "work at investing". This natural balance occurs due to many factors, including the obvious ones created by an individual's desire to do things other than investing as their main occupation, apprehensions about the stock markets, lack of knowledge, skill and ambition.
Therefore due to this natural balance most investors in the market will come primarily from the group of those who "work to invest". They understand the need to invest but do not take investing to the level where they conduct their investments as a professional business pursuit. These non-professional investors, spend most of their time working at jobs other than professional investing. They will usually place their money with a broker who ironically cannot effectively compete with professionally self-invested money, or they will non-professionally invest it themselves. Contrary to popular belief, the typical full service broker or money manager cannot manage investments as effectively for numerous clients as he can effectively do so for himself, or as effectively as can a knowledgeable, trained and well focused professional investor in self investment mode.
Therefore in the modern markets the truly professional self-investor is at a distinct advantage. First, because the non-professionally invested money helps to flood the markets with non-competitive monies, or what may be usually referred to as a type of "Dumb Money". This "Dumb Money" cannot usually compete effectively with that of the "Smart Money" in the markets, or those activities and monies self invested by professional investors operating their investments as a business. Secondly, because those who "work to invest" also provide the necessary work force for the businesses and economies within which these professional investors invest, those who operate investments as their profession or business have a ready source of workers to staff the businesses they invest in.
This scenario can be viewed to some extent as a vicious cycle in which those with the knowledge, insight and ambition to operate their personal investments as a professional business take advantage of this natural balance. They parasitically use the public markets to invest in the most successful businesses in the economy without undertaking the operating costs and other attendant risks of substantively running the businesses. In effect they ride piggyback on the "majority" who "work to invest". These workers not only staff such businesses but then take the money they make and non-professionally and non-competitively pour it back into the investment markets, thus supporting the activities of the "few" highly competitive professional investors who "work at investing".
If this "natural balance for financial success" is true, then those with the ultimate objective of maximizing their ability to make money should make every effort to position themselves in the "few who work at investing". This is particularly so if the naturalness of the balance means that there is a limit to membership in this group and so it will take some effort to find your way there. The goal is always to be a part of the smartest money in the market. If such a position can be attained and maintained in this the ultimate money making environment, then making money should be a breeze. It just makes common sense. However, all is not lost in this balance for those who "work to invest", after all they are much better off than those who do not invest at all.