"As for the art of picking stocks (or any other investment), correct. The art is finding the undervalued ones, in spite of whether the overall market is overvalued or not.
However, in the past 30 years, ESPECIALLY the past 6-8, the markets no longer reflect the value of investments or the securities they're supposed to. This is largely due to:
retirement plans flooding the stock market
low interest rates prompting companies to borrow at low rates to repurchase shares
quantitative easing money ending up in the stock market
In other words, to pick stocks one can no longer look at the individual company or underlying assets of the investment. You need to predict government policy, federal reserve moves, international monetary flows, and people's investing habits.
Unfortunately, all of that renders traditional analysis moot and (frankly) makes the entire process of stock valuation even more impossible than it was before. All that being said, it only reinforces the importance of finding an UNDERVALUED stock relative to its dividends or earnings ESPECIALLY given the trillions of NON-investment dollars that are flooding the market and distorting prices."