Thursday, January 18, 2024

Stocks, Yields, and Dollar Update: Risk Remains Elevated Right Here (video) -- But First, On Certainty

From G. Baid's The Joys of Compounding: The Passionate Pursuit of Lifelong Learning:
"Absolute certainty never exists in the world of finance. Yet, on Wall Street, overconfidence is all-pervasive. Jason Zweig highlights the hubris of investors in his definitions of certainty and uncertainty in his book The Devil's Financial Dictionary:
CERTAINTY. An imaginary state of clarity and predictability in economic and geopolitical affairs that all investors say is indispensable -- even though it doesn't exist, never has, and never will. The most fundamental attribute of financial markets is uncertainty.
UNCERTAINTY. The most fundamental fact about human life and economic activity. In the real world, uncertainty is ubiquitous; on Wall Street, it is nonexistent.
Contrast the kind of egotism found on Wall Street with the humility of one of the greatest minds outside of finance, Richard Feynman. We should all learn from the great teacher, who humbly admits that nothing is ever certain:
"We know that all our statements are approximate with different degrees of certainty; that when a statement is made, the question is not whether it is true or false but rather how likely it is to be true of false."

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Attention Non-Client subscribers: Nothing in this video should be construed as investment advice. The examples expressed relate to portfolio management we perform on behalf of our clients, and, again, under no circumstances are they to be considered recommendations to the viewer.

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