One of the side benefits of getting older is that you realise there is nothing new. This seems to be particularly true in regard to new traders who think they have made a new and novel mistake and market “experts” who think they have invented something new.
I am not certain whether it is comforting for new traders to realise that they have not made a new mistake, they have just made their own version of an old mistake. It may be slightly more spectacular than previous versions but it is a previous version nonetheless. Whether it is comforting for them to know that someone else has also made that mistake is perhaps dependant upon their own level of narcissism. Most people like to think that they are special and that their passage through the world is unique in much the same way everyone thinks that they are an above average driver. I have to turn the radio off to park the damned car despite it being arse deep in HD cameras and all sorts of warning devices.
With regard to market professionals, I was going through an old 60’s playlist of mine the other day and I came across the song The Boxer by Simon and Garfunkel and the following leapt out at me.
For a pocket full of mumbles, such are promises
All lies and jests
Still a man hears what he wants to hear
And disregards the rest
A simple song from 1969 has encapsulated most of the current wisdom of behavioural finance. The Nobel Prize for Economics probably should have got to Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel since it certainly predates most if not all the credited work in the field of behavioural economics and it does so in four lines of verse.