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Decide and Conquer: The Ultimate Guide for Improving Your Decision Making, Second Edition by Stephen P. Robbins

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22. Seeing Patterns That Aren’t There: Coping with Randomness

We must believe in luck. For how else can we explain the success of those we don’t like?

—E. Satie

The stock market goes up 150 points, and the analysts are quick to tell us that “low inflation and strong consumer confidence” are driving the market up. The next day, the market drops 150 points, and those same analysts tell us the reason is “uncertainty in the Middle East and increasing fears that the consumer will cut back spending because of heavy debt loads.”

Isn’t it amazing that these analysts never seem to be lost for an explanation of why the market did what it did? Interestingly, they never seem to show this insight when it comes to accurately predicting what the market might ...

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