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What I'm reading #42: 10 truths about the markets

By Sam Instone - October 20, 2021

It’s a short week here in the UAE.

And everywhere I look there’s talk of the Expo.

Positive energy and excitement.

Here’s what I’ve read this week on people, the markets and our working lives.

I love Morgan Housel’s writing.

His ability to weave stories and keep things short.

His latest work talks about history and perception.

A big part of almost every story in history is that expectations move slower than facts.

People become vested in their views of how the world works.

But the world can work one way for a long time and then … boom … abruptly lurch in a new direction.

Opinions crawl while events leap. It’s a tricky little thing.

In the 1960s, Warren Buffett joked of taking advice from old investors. “They know too many things that are no longer true,” he said.

Things change.

Accidents and chance push the world in ways that are impossible to predict.

The best you can do in that situation is live (and invest) in a way that doesn’t rely too much on a few seemingly obvious things coming true.

The stock market can be an intimidating place: it’s real money on the line, there’s an overwhelming amount of information and emotion.

But it’s also a place where thoughtful investors have accumulated a lot of wealth.

The primary difference between those two outlooks is related to misconceptions about the stock market that can lead people to make poor investment decisions.

Here are 10 truths about the stock market:

  1. The long game is undefeated
  2. You can get smoked in the short term
  3. Don’t ever expect average
  4. Stocks offer asymmetric upside
  5. Earnings drive stock prices
  6. Valuations won’t tell you much about next year
  7. There will always be something to worry about
  8. The most destabilizing risks are the ones people aren’t talking about
  9. There’s a lot of turnover
  10. The stock market is and isn’t the economy

Ultimately, those not invested intelligently in capital markets have their wealth outside the greatest money-making machine in history.

Onto success…

This article says it can come from moments when everything goes wrong, just as much as when everything goes right.

Ever wondered why some people seem destined for success?

Is there something special about them?

Do they have a magic wand or just react well to events that don’t go their way?

What it takes to really succeed is making mistakes and continuing to learn even after you’re successful.

Now, my favourite topic… people.

If there’s one thing that unites 99% of our working lives, it's people.

There are very few ways to get paid in this world that don't sometimes involve dealing with other humans. 

And let's be honest, humans are an odd bunch.

We're incredibly diverse, often highly illogical, and many times our motivations are mysterious even to ourselves.

We're brilliant and tribal, inspiring and maddening, different yet universally similar.

So if you want to become wiser about the minds and behaviour of others, here are 7 podcasts that might help.


A question for you:

What is the difference between your net worth and net worthwhile (do you know this – if not, why not)?



“When something is important enough, you do it even if the odds are not in your favour.” – Elon Musk

“Luck is a dividend of sweat. The more you sweat, the luckier you get.” – Ray Kroc

“Always leave room for the unexpected. A buffer of time, a little extra money, a reserve of goodwill.” – James Clear


Morgan Housel's 'It Sounds Crazy'

Sam Ro's '10 Truths About the Stock Market'

CNBC's 'Daymond John: Successful People Have No Magic Wand'

Inc.com's '7 Psychology Podcasts That Will Make You More Successful at Work'