Money

Malcolm Gladwell explains why he'll never be an active investor

Best-selling author and public intellectual Malcolm Gladwell is an expert on a number of things, including complicated topics like why some ideas spread like wildfire and why some people become successful.

But when it comes to investing, he's no authority. And he doesn't pretend to be.

"My father was the kind of person who would meet someone, size them up, and the instant he thought they knew even one percent more than him in a given area, he would defer," Gladwell says.

"And I have the same thing," he adds. "I have enormous respect for expertise, which means I will never try to be an active investor."

Gladwell is the author of a number of best-selling books such as "The Tipping Point," and "Blink."

The writer says he prefers to stick with what he's good at.

"I have enormous respect for expertise, which means I will never try to be an active investor." -Malcolm Gladwell, best-selling author

"I have a Schwab account and I do make small investments, but mostly I have other much smarter people make those decisions for me," he says.

In Gladwell's opinion, asking him to become an active investor is akin to asking an investor to write a feature for The New Yorker, where Gladwell is a staff writer.

Journalist Malcolm Gladwell
Getty Images
Journalist Malcolm Gladwell

In fact, Gladwell has doubts that even a well-trained individual could always choose the right stocks.

"I'm dubious of any claim by anyone that they can consistently beat the market," he says.

That's just another reason why when it comes to investing, Gladwell prefers to stay hands off.