The Investor’s Elegy

Sell them and you’ll be sorry,
Buy them and you’ll regret,
Hold them and you’ll worry,
Do nothing and you’ll fret.

– origin unknown

It’s decades old, this saying. It never changes – it could be hundreds of years old and used to describe coffee beans or barrels of molasses or parcels of land or a claim on next season’s unharvested crops.

Fear, envy, concern, nervousness, anxiety and excitement are the permanent condition of those who choose to play this game. There is no escaping the fact that we live and work under one or another of these regimes at all times.

But there are two allies on our side: awareness and acceptance.

Awareness: Am I aware that I am now under the sway of fretfulness or regret?  Of desire or remorse? Can I recognize the power that these forces have over me and, in seeing them, neutalize their influence on my decision-making process? Can I tell when others around me are being driven by these emotions and, in detecting the disease infecting the crowd, save myself from contagion?

Acceptance: What am I? I am human, I am not immune to the chemicals that combine and collaborate to move my body and soul. Do I accept that I will make some poor choices because of this permanent state of being? Can I accept that what I was driven to believe and tell others yesterday is no longer valid now that I am thinking more clearly or in possession of new information?

Am I aware that some of my instincts run counter to successful investing.  That these very instincts – the result of a hundred thousand years of evolution – have protected my ancestors from predators but do not now protect me from loss and irrational action?

Can I accept that not everything I currently think and feel will be validated tomorrow or in one year’s time?

If I can be aware and accepting, I think I can persevere where many others cannot. I believe I may be able to keep my feet while so many others fall down in my midst.




This content, which contains security-related opinions and/or information, is provided for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon in any manner as professional advice, or an endorsement of any practices, products or services. There can be no guarantees or assurances that the views expressed here will be applicable for any particular facts or circumstances, and should not be relied upon in any manner. You should consult your own advisers as to legal, business, tax, and other related matters concerning any investment.

The commentary in this “post” (including any related blog, podcasts, videos, and social media) reflects the personal opinions, viewpoints, and analyses of the Ritholtz Wealth Management employees providing such comments, and should not be regarded the views of Ritholtz Wealth Management LLC. or its respective affiliates or as a description of advisory services provided by Ritholtz Wealth Management or performance returns of any Ritholtz Wealth Management Investments client.

References to any securities or digital assets, or performance data, are for illustrative purposes only and do not constitute an investment recommendation or offer to provide investment advisory services. Charts and graphs provided within are for informational purposes solely and should not be relied upon when making any investment decision. Past performance is not indicative of future results. The content speaks only as of the date indicated. Any projections, estimates, forecasts, targets, prospects, and/or opinions expressed in these materials are subject to change without notice and may differ or be contrary to opinions expressed by others.

Wealthcast Media, an affiliate of Ritholtz Wealth Management, receives payment from various entities for advertisements in affiliated podcasts, blogs and emails. Inclusion of such advertisements does not constitute or imply endorsement, sponsorship or recommendation thereof, or any affiliation therewith, by the Content Creator or by Ritholtz Wealth Management or any of its employees. Investments in securities involve the risk of loss. For additional advertisement disclaimers see here:

Please see disclosures here.

What's been said:

Discussions found on the web
  1. video transitions tips commented on Sep 15

    … [Trackback]

    […] Here you can find 85460 more Info on that Topic: […]

  2. bitcoin loophole reviews commented on Sep 28

    … [Trackback]

    […] Read More on that Topic: […]

  3. Electricity Rates commented on Oct 02

    … [Trackback]

    […] Find More Information here on that Topic: […]

  4. Harold Jahn Canada commented on Nov 04

    … [Trackback]

    […] There you can find 40608 additional Information on that Topic: […]

  5. digital transformation solutions commented on Nov 13

    … [Trackback]

    […] Read More Info here to that Topic: […]

  6. dumps hight balance commented on Nov 20

    … [Trackback]

    […] Find More on that Topic: […]

  7. td easyweb online commented on Dec 13

    … [Trackback]

    […] There you will find 40831 more Info on that Topic: […]

  8. 사설토토 commented on Dec 24

    … [Trackback]

    […] Find More Information here to that Topic: […]

  9. cibc online banking commented on Jan 28

    … [Trackback]

    […] There you can find 87632 more Information to that Topic: […]