Epilogue Twelve Pillars of Wisdom Wisdom excelleth folly

“Wisdom excelleth folly as far as light excelleth darkness.” My epilogue begins with this apt quotation from Ecclesiastes, and I must warn you that I shall end it with what I think is an equally apt quotation. Throughout this book I have tried to impart some wisdom to the intelligent investor in mutual funds and delineate some folly that should be avoided. And I hope that I have succeeded in shedding light on mutual fund issues previously shrouded in darkness. By way of summary, I close with the following “twelve pillars of wisdom” as lamps to guide you in your search for a sensible, productive investment program.

  1. Investing is not nearly as difficult as it looks. The intelligent investor in mutual funds, using common sense and without extraordinary financial acumen, can perform with the pros. In a world where financial markets are highly efficient, there is absolutely no reason that careful and disciplined novices—those who know the rudiments but lack the experience—cannot hold their own or even surpass the long-term returns earned by professional investors as a group. Successful investing involves doing just a few things right and avoiding serious mistakes.
  2. When all else fails, fall back on simplicity. If you have a major investment decision to make, there are an infinite number of solutions that would be worse than this one: commit, over a period of a few years, half of your assets to a stock index fund and half to ...

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