Just finished reading the book “Mobs, Messiahs, and Markets“. It is a great read and I’ll definitely have to read it again not just because there is so much material to digest but because the writing is deliciously beautiful and brimming with wit.
The book sheds light on the shenanigans that are currently happening in the world as well as some from the past. The one thing I learned from the book is to think for one’s self. Yet, the book cautions against logical thinking because there is a tendency for us to do it wrongly. We use our thinking to help validate what we want – our brain is the slave to our emotions and desires. Also, there is the danger of thinking we know a lot about a subject matter, if not everything which can lead to disaster.
A healthy dose of skepticism and humility is needed when the gears in our brain start turning.
Investing tips from the book:
1. Don’t Go Looking For Trouble.
You don’t always need to be either a seller or a buyer. Sometimes doing nothing can be good. Although holding cash is actually doing something.
2. Don’t Expect The Market To Give A Sucker An Even Break.
The little guys lose consistently. They pay too much to the financial industry in fees, commissions, and spreads. The market isn’t a level playing field.
3. Don’t Be A Patsy (i.e. a person who is gullible and easy to take advantage of).
Don’t try to figure out what the market is doing by deferring to experts. Always remember that you are guessing and because you are guessing, make sure the odds are in your favor. Don’t buy high expecting to sell it when it gets higher because the market has been going up. Remember to buy low.
4. Never Get Too Far From The Facts.
5. Never Buy Tuna Unless It’s On Sale.
6. Never Buy What Someone Else Really Wants To Sell.
7. Never Buy What Everyone Else Is Rushing To Buy.
I’m not doing justice by just listing the points above but this is more for my own notes than anything else. I borrowed the book from Tampines Library so the book is in the system. Try to borrow it if you get the chance. I’m definitely going to buy this book to add to my collection once Borders has a discount.
The one fault I have against this book is that it has introduced the phrase ‘public spectacle’ into my vocabulary. I find myself using it quite often now in my conversations with people.
Public Spectacle = Lies -> Farce -> Disaster.
Some associated links:
This is the blog that is associated with the book – Mobs, Messiahs, and Markets. It hasn’t been updated since October 2007 so to read more from the authors, going to their blogs might be another recourse.
I managed to find the blog for only one of the authors Lila Rajiva – The Mind-Body Politic.
Couldn’t find the blog for Bill Bonner so I’m just going to link to the site for his daily newsletter – The Daily Reckoning.