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The Indomitable Investor: Why a Few Succeed in the Stock Market When Everyone Else Fails by Steven M. Sears

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Go Slow to Go Fast

Fast thinking is dangerous to your financial health. If you are an expert, and each data point that washes over your brain is backed my experience and study, fast thinking could be expeditious. But many people who come to the market are not trained investors. They just want to make money. They often fail to think about risk, especially when the tom-tom drums of the bull market are being pounded by TV commentators. In such instances, fast thinking is not thinking at all but visceral knee jerk reactions. It is easy to lose money. It is hard to make money. That is a fact. If you know it to be a fact then it should serve as a brake on your rush to invest. When you rush to buy a stock, you are not investing—you are not even trading. You are a lemming running in a herd.

You need systems checks like a jet pilot. The old American Stock Exchange, when it occupied 86 Trinity Street and had not yet been bought by the New York Stock Exchange, had a trading firm named TANSTAAFL. The firm’s name was an abbreviation of There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch. TANSTAAFL is a good antidote for fast thinking. When you think you have to rush, say TANSTAAFL.

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