This isn’t investing, it’s just gambling

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The billions pumped into global economies by central banks in the past decade has made it seem very easy to be an investment genius.

As cash has flooded the markets, equities have shot up. You could just pick a fashionable company (don’t worry about the business fundamentals, just choose anything in tech: Tesla, food delivery, consumer goods), sit back and watch the money roll in.

Our best performing FTSE 100 stock last year was the tech investment trust Scottish Mortgage, returning 106 per cent — in a pandemic. Great business, but still, extraordinary returns. In the US the Nasdaq rose by 47 per cent. Improbable.

Given the returns since the banking crisis, I had always been slightly mystified as to why so many people still