THE STOCK MARKET IS FASCINATING AND QUITE DECEPTIVE—IN the short run. Over the very long run, the market can be almost boringly reliable and predictable.

Understanding the personalities of two very different characters is vital to a realistic understanding of the stock market. These very different characters are “Mr. Market” and “Mr. Value.”

Mr. Market gets all the attention because he’s so interesting, while poor old Mr. Value goes about his important work almost totally ignored by investors. It’s not fair. Mr. Value does all the work, while Mr. Market has all the fun and causes all the trouble.

Introduced by Benjamin Graham in his classic book The Intelligent Investor,1 Mr. Market occasionally lets his enthusiasms ...

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