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Investor Misconceptions


It's a wonderfully deluded view of the world: if you buy stocks and they go up, then you're clever and admirable, while if you buy stocks and they go down, that's clearly the fault of nefarious criminals.

That excellent characterization of the attitude of casual investors—and many devoted market players—is actually a paraphrase. It’s from an attempt to debunk some illogic in a Ben Stein column on the liquidity crisis.

Another Stein nugget from the same column, this this one about the popular and convenient (or ignorant) redefinition of saving vs. investing:

But he is absolutely to blame for doing his very best to elide the distinction between saving and investing, by doing things like referring to his stock-market investments as his "life savings". If you bet your money, you're not saving it -- and investing in the stock market is always a bet, even when it has a greater-than-even chance of paying off.

Ben Stein may have been better suited to be a game show host than a serious financial writer.