6. The Five Factors: Putting Data to Work

Everywhere you look, you’ll find a piece of data, each bit of it playing some kind of role in your life. How cold is it outdoors? Glance at the thermometer for data. Now you know whether to don your thick wool overcoat. How much do you weigh this month? The answer tells you if you can afford to order cheesecake for dessert. Every day of your life, you absorb and process countless pieces of data, often without conscious thought. Sometimes those decisions involve processing multiple bits of data: Ordering the cheesecake may be a function of your weight, how much you can afford to spend on lunch, and how much time you have before you need to be back at your desk. But when it comes to building an investment ...

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