Chapter 13. Pundits, Predictions, and Confronting Your Fears


“Like the cosmetics industry, the securities business is engaged in selling illusions.”

 --Paul Samuelson

“Never make forecasts, especially about the future.”

 --Samuel Goldwyn

Too many people, in my experience, believe that they need some self-styled (and often self-serving) expert to predict what will happen with the economy, foreign trade, interest rates, the value of specific investments—you name it—in the minutes, days, weeks, months, and year ahead. You’ll notice how short I kept the time frames here, and that’s a big part of the problem. CNBC has done segments where in the middle of the afternoon, it asks floor traders on the New York Stock Exchange to pontificate how the market ...

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