Chapter 2. INVESTING IS A DISCIPLINE

 

Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.

 
 --Jim Rohn
 

With self-discipline almost anything is possible.

 
 --Theodore Roosevelt
 

When man learns to understand and control his own behavior as well as he is learning to understand and control the behavior of crop plants and domestic animals, he may be justified in believing that he has become civilized.

 
 --Ayn Rand

I don't care what they say, most investing theories (not all, but most) are versions of gambling. Personally, I'm terrified of gambling. Casinos set up games where the odds are explicitly and deliberately stacked against the players—yet folks come from all over to play! That's beyond perverse, but commonplace and old as time.

Maybe this will freak you out a little: The bright, blinking lights at a Chuck E. Cheese's game arcade for kids are pretty much the same shiny lights Vegas uses to get you to play craps and slots. We seem to be drawn—even in adulthood—to bright, shiny things and willing to give up our cash for the thrill of playing the game. It's not much of a stretch to make another comparison and see the blinking lights of the big board at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) as similar.

Discipline is the only way to ensure your investing habits aren't gambling habits. Most of the dangerous things about gambling are also pitfalls of investing. If you want training in how to invest, just go to a casino and observe the habits of chronic gamblers. Scrutinize their psychology, ...

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