Simplicity ain’t easy

Last year I was taken with a documentary and wrote a post about the so-called “best sushi chef in the world.” Jiro Dreams of Sushi for me had a great deal to say about the relentless pursuit of perfection. This has implications for any number of fields, trading and investing included. Now there is an update to the story.

Pete Wells in the NYTimes recently gave a four-star review of, Sushi Nakazawa in the West Village, which is run by a former apprentice of Jiro. Now there is a short form video with the owner and chef at Sushi Nakzawa.

Source: NYTimes

Two really interesting ideas come from this story. The first is that the world is really small. A couple of messages got this new venture on its feet. Second it shows that simplicity is the result of dozens of iterations. Whether it is sushi, an app that just works or the iPhone that went through dozens of iterations before coming to market, elegance is not easily earned.

One thing experienced traders recognize that the more steps you can strip away from your process the easier it is to replicate over time. Novice traders need to recognize that this knowledge is gained over time through experience and market tuition. Overly complicated systems are by definition more fragile and more prone to behavioral pitfalls.

That is why for most investors a simple approach that focuses on broadly diversified portfolios of index funds, periodically rebalanced is a simple approach that can be followed over time. For traders and investors in pursuit of alpha the idea of simplicity should also be something to strive for. Simplicity ain’t easy. But what exactly is the alternative?

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