While the stock market is a winning game, returning about 10% annually, most investors lose money. It is actually easier to win a gold medal at the Olympics than to beat the market $SPX500 in the long-term. This is because most investors don't want to be contrarians.
Why is it hard to be a contrarian?
1. Opportunities are rare, especially today with all the passive investing and markets at all time high. But you can find them sometimes. For example, even the largest company in the world, Apple $AAPL was moving opposite the market in 2016
2. You will have to go against everybody else. I was buying GameStop $GME in 2019 when everybody was selling and I sold GameStop in 2021 when everybody was buying.
3. Short-term focus. Most investors (especially professionals) are looking for short-term returns. But being a contrarian sometimes can mean seeing your investments drop for years before being right. I was down 60% on GameStop after more than a year of investing before eventually making 3300% profits.
4. Doing something. If you look at the turnover rate of Warren Buffett $BRK.B it is one of the lowest in the industry. Most of the time, the greatest investor ever is not doing anything.