ART OR SCIENCE?

"After a certain high level of technical skill is achieved, science and art tend to coalesce in esthetics, plasticity, and form.  The great scientists are always artists as well"  Albert Einstein

"I have been absorbed and immersed since 1924 and I know this is no science.  It is an art.  Now we have computers and all sorts of statistics but the market is still the same and understanding the market is still no easier.  It is personal intuition, sensing patterns of behaviour.  There is always something unknown, undiscerned." Adam Smith, The Money Game 1968.

"View investing not as a science, but an art form.  Constantly keep in mind that it is better to be generally correct than precisely wrong" Bennett Goodspeed 1978

“Success in finance remains an art rather than a science, if only because of the vagaries of human nature. Therein lies the good news, if investing is an art, it can be mastered. “ Leon Levy

"I think it's an art" Lou Simpson

“Is investing an art or a science or a craft? …. I would say art first and foremost, craft second, science third" Seth Klarman

"Investing, like economics, is more art than science" Howard Marks

"Investing in stocks is an art, not a science, and people who've been trained to rigidly quantify everything have a big disadvantage"  Peter Lynch

"Value investing is an art, not a science.” Irving Kahn

“Often, investing is more liberal arts than it is business science.” Bruce Berkowitz

"It's not easy and it's not precise or science at all" Li Lu

“Construction of a financial-asset portfolio involves full measures of science and art” David Swenson

"Because investing is at least as much art as it is science, it's never my goal to suggest it can be routinized.  In fact, one of the things I most want to emphasize is how essential it is that one's investment approach be intuitive and adaptive rather than fixed and mechanistic" Howard Marks

“I think investing is an art, and we tried to be as logical and unemotional as possible. Because we understood that investors are usually affected by the market, we could take advantage of the market by being rational” Walter Schloss

"People make more of a science out of it than I think is necessary - for me it's really a much more intuitive process" Shad Rowe

“Stock picking is both an art and a science, but too much of either is a dangerous thing” Peter Lynch

“Markets can be overvalued and still keep on getting more expensive for quite a while, or they can be undervalued and keep getting cheaper, which is why investing is an art form, not an exact science” Peter Cundill

“You are never going to be completely right; there is no formula that will ever get you there on its own. Osmosis is about intuition and about discipline and about all the other things that are not quantifiable. So can you learn it? Yes, you can learn it, but it’s not a science it’s an art form. The portfolio is a canvas to be painted and filled in” Peter Cundill

"Valuing a business is part art and part science" Warren Buffett

"I have learned that successful investing is more art than science" Thomas Kahn

"Investing is more art than science" Christopher Parvese

"Playing the market is not a science, and the market is not characterized by causal relationships"  Leon Levy

"Investing is an art, more so than a science. And for me, what I get paid for is managing the ‘dark art,’ if you will, of risk management and trying to be a visionary and having a dark vision at all times about what can go wrong." Paul Singer

"One of the most important things to bear in mind is that economics isn't an exact science.  It may not even be much of a science at all, in the sense that in science, controlled experiments can be conducted, past results can be replicated with confidence and cause and effect relationships can be depended on to hold"  Howard Marks

"Academia has found a gold mine in transmuting the art of investment (that, at heart, is based on common sense) into the science of finance, manifested in textbooks filled with pages and pages of undecipherable equations.  The idea that the intricacy of the symbolic logic necessary to solve problems is proportional to the results achieved is woefully misapplied in the world of Main Street investment"  Frank Martin

"[Value investing] is an art in the sense that you never saw a great painter that didn't learn as a protege of some master painter and also that as great a man might be he could paint some bad pictures too.  It's no science, and all the kids that believe in the equations or the rules that would make for perfect markets will learn better as they get older"  Irving Kahn

"If it [value investing] were a science it would be replicable, you could put certain algorithms in the machine and you could pop out the answer.  It doesn't work that way.  So it's got to be an art"  Thomas Khan

"Putting "the investment as a science genie" back in the bottle threatens the tenured professors who teach the mathematics of finance, and who greatly outnumber those who teach investment management in psychology and sociology departments" Frank Martin

"It's also important to be able to make decisions without complete or perfect information.  Things are almost never clear on Wall Street, or when they are, then it's too late to profit from them.  The scientific mind that needs to know all the data will be thwarted here" Peter Lynch

"Although those quantitatively inclined would disagree, to me, investing is much more an art than a science" Barton Biggs

“I happen to believe investing is a social science, it’s not an empirical process, it’s not a natural science. There’s no Newton’s apple in this business.”  William Browne

"The scientific method applied to the securities markets is a dangerously fallacious approach. It presumes a linear type of repeatability; whereas, the marketplace is fluid, reflecting the endless capacity of humans to interact and respond. Any fixed rule or process is reacted to and gamed and, ultimately, doomed. You don’t fight that, you use it." Murray Stahl