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The Only Three Questions That Still Count: Investing By Knowing What Others Don't, 2nd Edition by Lara Hoffmans, Jennifer Chou, Kenneth L. Fisher

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If You Knew It Was Wrong, You Wouldn’t Believe It

It’s safe to assume if you knew something was wrong, you wouldn’t believe it true in the first place. But in a world where so much of industry-applied craft has morphed into long-held mythologies, much of what everyone believes is false. This isn’t any different from long ago when humanity believed the world was flat.

You needn’t beat yourself up if you fall prey to false mythologies. Pretty much everyone has and does. Once you accept that, you can begin gaming everyone else with greater success.

If sorting false mythology from fact were trivial, there wouldn’t be so many false truths. While this isn’t trivial, it isn’t impossible either. One inherent difficulty is this approach requires being skeptical about all your prior beliefs—something most humans dislike. In fact, most humans hate self-questioning and prefer spending time convincing themselves (and others) their beliefs are right. Effectively, you can’t trust any conclusion you thought you knew.

To think through false mythologies, we must first ask: Why do so many people believe things that are false? And why do false truths persist—getting passed down the decades as if they were fact? It comes back to the same point: People persist in believing things that are wrong because, individually, people rarely investigate their own beliefs, particularly when what they believe makes sense intuitively—even more so when those around them agree with them.

As a society, we are often ...

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