Here's the thing. I don't understand why it's so hard to beat the market. When I go online at some of these financial sites like Forbes or Kiplinger, they are impressed with 20% per year return on their investment. I'm not a trader. I invest for the long-time, usually no more than a year. And the only reason I stick to a year is because of tax brackets. But if the stock isn't doing well, I tend to quit early and reap in the profits (or losses). So, I've been investing since Jan. 2005 and my performance last year was 31%, and my performance so far in 2006 is 37%. Based on the S&P 500 YTD return of 14.9%, I'm doing really well. However, I didn't find it difficult to beat the market at all. I started with $100K in investment with 10 stocks to diversify my portfolio. My portfolio has always held 10 stocks at a time, and I had to dump 1 one stock in 2006 because it wasn't moving up fast. If I had waited a whole year, it would've only gone up 15%, so I didn't make a bad bet. I also put a %T stop loss requirement. Going by this consensus, if you beat the market, you are supposed to be a rock star. I've been beating the market for four years (2 year paper trading, 2 years actual), and I've done well. I don't think I'm suited for day trading, so I'm happy with the returns. My strategies are very simple as well. I'm glued to the news and I tend to only invest based on fundamental analysis (P/E ratio, earnings growth, free cash flow, etc. etc.). I never believed in technical analysis because it seems to me that you are just smartly trying to gamble. I also read a lot of financial news sites and get my ideas from them. If they are pumping a particular company, I do my research and decide whether or not to invest. Before I invest, I thoroughly do my research on the industry, sector, company and competitors, but it's fairly normal. What I want to know is - is beating the market consistently really that difficult? And based on my performance, is there anything special that I'm doing, or have I just had luck on my side for the last four years? Thanks for your input.