Stop Thinking About Markets as if They Were Human

Your portfolio will do better if you do.

People climb, markets don't.

Photographer: Michael Hanson/National Geographic/Getty Images

Act. v. What a financial market supposedly does. As if it were a living creature with a sense of self and volition . . . Depicting a financial market as an athlete sprinting, leaping or cliff diving makes news coverage more exciting than a droning flux of numbers.

The above definition is from "The Devil's Financial Dictionary," Jason Zweig's market-focused version of Ambrose Bierce's brilliant early-20th-century satire on the meaning of common words.

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