Often what passes for an idea is, on closer inspection, really propaganda – someone wants something, wants to promote something. The hard part is finding a form. The most convincing works tends to be those in which the thinking is inseparable from the doing.
The big-idea people will always be among us…. Nothing wrong with big ideas, but they aren’t especially relevant to figuring out how something works – or doesn’t.
– from 2. to 1. How 3. See by David Salle
While the author focuses on the idea and work of art, the same also applies to money management. The idea or concept is not as important as the doing. A great art can involve big ideas, but big ideas do not translate to great art. Whether smart beta, risk parity, or new risk premiums, the focus has to be on the details and not just the idea. The manager who sweats the details and does the work will always perform better than the manager who just talks of concepts.