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A Decade of Delusions: From Speculative Contagion to the Great Recession by John C. Bogle, Frank K. Martin

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Chapter 8

What History Teaches1

Source: © FactSet Research Systems.

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In the Preface [to Speculative Contagion], gentle encouragement to stay the course was provided for those who picked up the book, assuring readers that there are certain truisms that, if applied wisely, will allow them to “eat well and sleep well,” regardless of the tempests of exuberance or despair that will occasionally rage outside their windows. In the following pages, there are several synthesized proverbs that you may have gleaned as you took the seven-year trek with us through time. I will attempt to list, in no particular order beyond the first one or two (which are foundational), a number of basic truths or practical precepts, in my experience-based judgment, to which you might refer should you become uncertain about which way to turn sometime in the future. The succeeding catalogue of aphorisms is by no means all-inclusive, nor are they meant to be taken at face value. Readers are encouraged to challenge every statement, extracting for themselves that which they feel will be most meaningful and reject that which they feel is superfluous or simply untrue. Perhaps before readers attempt to navigate their way through the following maxims they might reread the opening lines of Chapter 7 and arm themselves with the words of Ernest Dimnet, author of The Art of Thinking, an up-in-lights snippet from which ...

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