The Wall Street Hype Machine

To judge by their private and public discourse, Americans are obsessed with Wall Street. At weddings, in cars, on planes, in the kitchen, on the treadmill, in the office, they talk incessantly about what the market is doing. And for good reason. With their 401(k) accounts and mutual funds, people today have more responsibility for their finances and retirement than the previous generation did. Those who have stuck to long-term goals have done extremely well. But Wall Street makes money on trading, and others are being seduced by a siren song of short-term momentum plays.

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