By Edward Winslow
Read Online or Download Blind Faith: Our Misplaced Trust in the Stock Market and Smarter, Safer Ways to Invest PDF
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Extra resources for Blind Faith: Our Misplaced Trust in the Stock Market and Smarter, Safer Ways to Invest
Internet technology has made it too convenient for investors to make rash decisions based upon their emotional reactions. 15 Le Bon’s book was inspired by the political and social turmoil of his times. He asserted that the crowd was not driven by rational argument but by its spinal cord. It responded solely to emotional appeals and was incapable of thought or reason. Leaders of a group of people, he proposed, need to appeal not to logic but to unconscious motivation. Le Bon’s book was written with the working class in mind, but by the 1920s his ideas were applied to virtually everyone.
I’ve found that investors hesitate to liquidate investments that have gone down in value, even when there is a logical, rational argument for selling. Perhaps it is the pain that Tversky refers to when a loss is actually realized. I’ve also seen the opposite occur when an investment has been such a good performer that investors won’t consider selling. Perhaps they fear the possibility of missing out on further gains. They forget that a gain is not a gain until it is realized. This mentality is so strong in some investors that they become paralyzed, unable to make any rational decisions concerning their faith in ourselves 29 investments.
Like it or not, these kinds of investments—conservative faith in ourselves 39 or risky—are a gamble. Why? Because there is no preestablished protection against loss. A stock portfolio can slide to zero. A pervading myth—one vigorously promoted by Wall Street and corporate America but increasingly found suspect by burned investors—is that stock market investing is the only reasonable way to make money and beat inflation. But this is simply not true. We are not all trapped in some kind of investors’ casino with the doors locked and Lady Luck spinning the wheels.