In Your money and Your Brain, Jason Zweig described an investor who sold all of her stocks and bonds into cash whenever she goes on vacation, and move everything back when she is back from vacation. The investor says, “That way I know I’m in charge while I’m on vacation, and I can relax instead of worrying that I might lose money.”
The author described the inventor as being suffered from “the illusion of control”, the feeling that one can exert authority over random chance with our physical actions. (This reminds me of the book Fooled by Randomness)
The Mamak Stall Investor is going on vacation too. He is not going to do anything to his portfolio: no selling, no buying. He says, “That way I know I wouldn’t be subject to emotional roller coaster while I’m on vacation, and I can relax knowing that there wouldn’t be any surprise because my indexed portfolio will behave just like how the markets behave.” Will there be year-end stock rally? Will there be more bad news from the finance sector? “I don’t know, I don’t care“, he says.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of you!
Got my new book last week from the US. My brother was on a business trip in the US, so I gave him my $100 US-dollar bill left over from other trip to buy me some books and gifts. I listed two books to buy: Your Money and Your Brain by Jason Zweig and Wise Investing Made Simple by Larry Swedroe. He managed to get only the first book from the few book stores that he has visited.
I paid US$28 (US$26 + tax) for Your Money and Your Brain, more expensive than Amazon but cheaper than the listed price of S$46 at Kinokuniya Singapore. The first few pages of the book are diagrams of anatomy of human brain. Oops, did I just get a textbook for medical course? Hehe… There are also several colour pages that show the cross-section scans of the author’s brain under different money-related stimuli.
The book starts with:
“How could I have been such an idiot?” If you’ve never yelled that sentence at yourself in a fury, you’re not a investor.
I have just finished chapter one. Here are some sentences from chapter one:
Everyone knows that chasing hot stocks or mutual funds is a sure way to get burned — yet millions of investors flock back to the flame every year.
(along with another four sentences of “Everyone knows that … and yet …”)
“Financial decision-making is not necessarily about money,” says psychologist Daniel Kahneman of Princeton University. “It’s also about intangibles motives like avoiding regret or achieving pride.”
“If you don’t know who you are,” quipped the investment writer “Adam Smith” in his classic book The Money Game, then Wall Street “is an expensive place to find out.”
Know more about who you are as an investor can make you a fortune — or save you one.
No matter how much or how little you may think you know about investing, there is always more to learn about the final financial frontier: yourself.
Oh, Merry Christmas. 🙂