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The Most Important Lessons in Investing

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The Most Important Lessons in Investing

Video by Ben Felix via YouTube

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Over the last 10 years I have spoken to thousands of individual investors about their investments and financial plans while working at PWL Capital, and I have interviewed some of the smartest people in finance, economics, and psychology on the Rational Reminder podcast.

This is what I have learned. These are all lessons that investors will learn eventually, though many will learn them the hard way.

0:29 1. You’re not that smart (relative to the market).
0:42 2. This time is always different.
1:03 3. The market is forward-looking.
1:20 4. Market forecasts are not useful.
1:34 5. Time in the market beats timing the market.
1:47 6. Most funds do not beat the market.
2:12 7. Incentives matter.
2:26 8. Expected economic growth and stock returns are unrelated.
3:12 9. Good portfolio management does not make up for bad financial planning.
3:27 10. Risk and expected returns are positively related.
3:42 11. The risk-expected return trade-off has a term structure.
3:58 12. Fees and taxes matter.
4:12 13. Complexity and costs are positively related.
4:27 14. There is no single optimal investment strategy.
4:44 15. The best investment strategy for you is the one that you can stick with.
5:00 16. There is no such thing as a “passive” investment.
5:14 17. Wealth does not give you access to market-beating investments.
5:30 18. Diversification is (still) the only free lunch in investing.
5:44 19. Investments should be evaluated on process, not outcome.
5:58 20. Investing has been solved.

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