Lesson 1: You Can’t Win by Cheating

When we look at the Evil Queen’s fatal mistake, it was that she tried to raise her station by ill-gotten means. Her solution to falling from “the fairest” is simple: Take out the competition.

We’ve all probably felt that unpleasant twinge when we realize someone else is better off than us. Some investors, like the Evil Queen, get a message they don’t want to hear. To their dismay, they discover that someone else is fairer than they—wealthier, more attractive, fulfilled, and more secure.

In the worst case scenario, this realization can send an investor into an unethical self-destructive tailspin. Proving one’s supremacy at all costs is the Bernie Madoff syndrome—take what you want from everyone else in an effort ...

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