Yesterday I told you what my full-service broker says he first learned when he came to Wall Street. “I can’t use that,” I protested. “It’s too ethnic.” (I used it anyway.)

An hour passed.

My phone rings.

I am screening my calls, so he gets the machine.

It is obvious he has now put some thought into this.

“Buy when you most feel like selling,” he tells my machine (no need to identify himself or anything — we’ve been doing this for 25 years), “sell when you most feel like buying.”

This is not a prescription for happiness. You’re always either terrified … maybe this time the world, or at least your stock, really will end … or heartsick … over ditching a stock you’ve come to love, over watching it rise some more after you sell it, and over paying the tax on your gain. (It is from just this experience that comes the expression “eat your heart out.”)

Nor is this a guarantee of success.

But the fact is, the market in effect pays you for your distress.

Sometimes.

 

 

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