Good investors start with skepticism and go from there or simply say “show me the data”. Credentials, pedigree, high intelligence, a well-known firm, a powerful position, in the news media, a lot of money, etc., do NOT automatically make someone credible. Accept NOTHING at face value and question EVERYTHING. Use FACTS and DATA, and not emotion, to make your OWN arguments, conclusions, and decisions.
Invictus wrote the following at The Big Picture that dovetails nicely with those thoughts:
It was, I guess, a rude awakening for me when I realized, many years ago, that most of the talking heads I saw on TV had no idea what the hell they were talking about. The sooner one learns that lesson, the better. So, take it from me (and BR, who says the same thing): Figure out who’s on their game and who isn’t; who’s got an agenda and who doesn’t. Stick with those who are consistently good and occasionally great, jettison the money-losers and ideologues. Finance is not the place for one-hit-wonders. (How do you wind up with a small fortune on Wall St? Start with a large one. Or follow the money losers because they deliver a message you want to hear, not one that will make you money.)