I have long been thinking about the contribution side of investing, and Munger gives his answer recently.
He said if what he is to buy a stock and watch it rising, there is no meaning at all. And that's why he is ashamed of it and ....(he mentioned a few).
It seems to me that the wise man does not claim investing is a meaningful task individually, but he applies a systemic thinking(as usual) to the question. If we are doing the major part of the value creation, like being a cook, pianist or a doctor, it is difficult to see the value of the tasks, especially tasks that are facilitating in nature.
I have such questions for a long time. At this moment, I have the following conclusion:
1 Investor is a facilitator in the economy. It drives the capital force to boost economic. It judges what's good business and what's bad business.
2 Investor gives birth to new industries. Because of investor frenzy, it gives excess chance for any new industry to become a bubble. A bubble is not bad to the economy as it gives variety. The self-corrective nature of bubble then consolidates the mass and distill good business players. That's working nice in capitalism.
3 Investors may not have direct contribution to economy as many forces are netted. Admittedly, there is no hero. What one should do is to try their best.
However, something gives me an unethical feeling in the industry.
1 Actively control the mechanism of market mechanism
2 Bad accounting
3 Design structural products to hide risk or redistribute risk to deceive investors and abuses loopholes of financial system.
The market really really need good investment manager to pick young and sound business and drive the capital force to facilitate economic growth. Buffett and Munger are really doing a very meaningful jobs and contribute a lot in the modern finance and capitalism. They are really my life-long role model.