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The Zurich Axioms: The rules of risk and reward used by generations of Swiss bankers by Max Gunther

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The Eleventh Major Axiom: On Stubbornness

If it doesn’t pay off the first time, forget it.

Perseverance is like optimism: It has always had a good press. “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again”, an ancient English king is reported to have remarked, having watched a spider build a web after many bad starts. That is certainly good advice for spiders. Also for kings, who are usually born rich. For ordinary men and women like you and me, struggling to make a buck, it is advice that should be heeded selectively.

Perseverance can serve us well in many areas of life. You’ll never get a straight answer out of the Motor Vehicle Department without it, for instance. In speculation, however, while there are times when it can be useful, there ...

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