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CNBC PRO Talks

Investing columnist Jason Zweig on the big advantage small investors have over the pros

Jason Zweig, a best-selling author and investing columnist for The Wall Street Journal, sat down with CNBC's Mike Santoli for an in-depth discussion on the psychology of investing, the traits of successful investors and why the average investor is actually better off than the pros.

"If you're an individual investor, you have a massive advantage over professional investors, which is nobody's looking over your shoulder, except maybe your spouse or your significant other or your partner," Zweig said.

"And that cripples professional investors. And you don't have that cinder block tied to your ankles with a steel chain. You can judge your success by your own standards. And you can set your own time horizon. And I constantly urge people, think in terms of decades or generations rather than days or weeks or months or years," he added.

Zweig is the author of "The Devil's Financial Dictionary," among other books, and edited the revised edition of Benjamin Graham's "The Intelligent Investor," the classic text that Warren Buffett has described as "by far the best book about investing ever written."

In this exclusive interview, Zweig outlines the driving forces behind decision-making when it comes to money and investing and also discusses:

  • Why smart people "turn stupid" when money is involved
  • How investors can overcome counterproductive psychological quirks
  • The future of active vs. passive investing
  • Ben Graham's theories on value investing and whether they are still relevant

PRO subscribers can also read the entire transcript of the exclusive interview below.