The office of an average hedge fund looks something like this: Rows of Ivy League grads sit at desks with four computer monitors, three telephones, a Bloomberg terminal, and a Red Bull. Everyone is poring over financial data, charts, and reports while frantically working the phones and often screaming at one another. It's about as high-stress as it gets.

Yet most hedge funds underperform a basic S&P 500 index fund. High IQ and mountains of data don't automatically guarantee good performance.

Last week, I sat down with famed value investor Mohnish Pabrai, whose office looks nothing like an ordinary hedge fund. It's essentially just him in a small room -- and yet he has crushed the market over the last decade.


I asked him about his simplistic approach and how it helps him achieve high returns. Here's what he had to say.

The article The No. 1 Trait of a Successful Investor originally appeared on Fool.com.

Fool contributor Morgan Housel has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. The Motley Fool has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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