I hit "publish" for my first post on this site on November 1, 2010. Over the last three years, we have covered a lot of ground exploring the topic of investing. This is the last Wall Street Smarts blog post, and it seems appropriate to end with final thoughts from several of the authors we have studied.
Al Frank, in Al Frank's New Prudent Speculator, had this final advice for his readers:
If you feel overwhelmed by information overload, step back and consider what is being asked of you, and what you must ask of yourself, in order to speculate successfully in the stock market. Basically, all you need to do is buy some undervalued shares of several corporations' stock. With a few hours of self-training, you can select undervalued stocks as well as the next person, if not better. Spending a few more hours to understand the long-term positive nature of the market, the average upward trend of 10 percent or more for many years, within which are selloffs and rallies, you will be armed intellectually to cope with stock and market price fluctuations.
Ben Graham ended The Intelligent Investor with these parting words:
We are not going to end with J.J. Raskob's slogan that we made fun of at the beginning: "Everybody can be rich." But interesting possibilities abound on the financial scene, and the intelligent and enterprising investor should be able to find both enjoyment and profit in this three-ring circus. Excitement is guaranteed.
Burton Malkiel concluded with an analogy for investing in A Random Walk Down Wall Street:
Investing is a bit like lovemaking. Ultimately, it is really an art requiring a certain talent and the presence of a mysterious force called luck. Indeed, luck may be 99 percent responsible for the success of the very few people who have beaten the averages......The game of investing is like lovemaking in another important respect, too. It's much too much fun to give up.
Peter Lynch listed his 20 Golden Rules for investing at the conclusion of Beating the Street, and the following is one of them:
Owning stocks is like having children -- don't get involved with more than you can handle. The part-time stockpicker probably has time to follow 8 -- 12 companies, and to buy and sell shares as conditions warrant. There don't have to be more than 5 companies in the portfolio at any one time.
Jesse Livermore may have summed it up best in How To Trade In Stocks:
There is nothing new on Wall Street or in stock speculation. What has happened in the past will happen again, and again, and again. This is because human nature does not change, and it is human emotion, solidly built into human nature, that always gets in the way of human intelligence. Of this I am sure.
Thank you for reading.