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Words Worth: 10 Reasons Why Most Stock Investors Fail

Learn from the wisdom of words and get successful at stock market investing


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Words Worth: 10 Reasons Why Most Stock Investors Fail

'The stock market is all gamble.'
'Making money in the stock market is all about luck.'
'The easiest way to financial ruins passes through the stock market.'

How often do you hear people say the above things or things similar to them? In fact, if you check the average person's view of the stock market, you would be convinced that the stock market is the earthly analogue of hell. However, once in a while you also learn about some people who are making huge gains in the market. You may have wondered how it is that these handful of people made gains in the market, when most lose. Is there some magic formula?

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But first let us turn the matter around slightly. Which is responsible for losses in the stock market: the market or the investor? Contrary to the popular notion that the market is to be cursed, it is the investor who is to be blamed. Why? Because the Indian stock market, like most other stock markets, has maintained an upward bias over the years. The Sensex had closed at 1,908 in 1991. The current level of the Sensex is around 29,000. Do you still think the market is the problem?

Why then most people fail in the stock market? Your quest for the holy grail ends here. The answer had always been there, only it had to be put in the right context. It is there in the words of the gurus of stock investing. Here is a short compilation of the wisdom of the gurus which will reveal to you the secret of winning in the stock market.

  1. Failing to appreciate what common stocks are

    Although it's easy to forget sometimes, a share is not a lottery ticket... it's part-ownership of a business.
    - Peter Lynch

    Behind every stock is a company. Find out what it's doing.
    - Peter Lynch

  2. Not studying the business before investing in the stock

    Know what you own, and know why you own it.
    - Peter Lynch

    If you don't study any companies, you have the same success buying stocks as you do in a poker game if you bet without looking at your cards.
    - Peter Lynch

  3. Failing to invest or stay invested in a good stock during times of crisis

    Unless you can watch your stock holding decline by 50 per cent without becoming panic-stricken, you should not be in the stock market.
    - Warren Buffett

    Cash combined with courage in a time of crisis is priceless.
    - Warren Buffett

  4. Not thinking long term and not being disciplined and patient

    If you are not willing to own a stock for 10 years, do not even think about owning it for 10 minutes.
    - Warren Buffett

    Successful Investing takes time, discipline and patience. No matter how great the talent or effort, some things just take time: You can't produce a baby in one month by getting nine women pregnant.
    - Warren Buffett

  5. Indulging in derivatives and stock trading

    Deivatives are financial weapons of mass destruction.
    - Warren Buffett

    As in roulette, same is true of the stock trader, who will find that the expense of trading weights the dice heavily against him.
    - Benjamin Graham

  6. Paying too much for the stock

    If you are shopping for common stocks, choose them the way you would buy groceries, not the way you would buy perfume.
    - Benjamin Graham

    Confronted with a challenge to distill the secret of sound investment into three words, we venture the motto, Margin of Safety.
    - Benjamin Graham

  7. Blindly following the crowd

    We simply attempt to be fearful when others are greedy and to be greedy only when others are fearful.
    - Warren Buffett

    Wall Street is the only place that people ride to in a Rolls Royce to get advice from those who take the subway.
    - Warren Buffett

  8. Making exceptions to sound investing principles as per the latest fad

    The individual investor should act consistently as an investor and not as a speculator.
    - Benjamin Graham

    With every new wave of optimism or pessimism, we are ready to abandon history and time-tested principles; but we cling tenaciously and unquestioningly to our prejudices.
    - Benjamin Graham

  9. Underestimating your potential as an investor

    Twenty years in this business convince me that any normal person using the customary three percent of the brain can pick stocks just as well, if not better, than the average Wall Street expert.
    - Peter Lynch

    If you have more than 120 or 130 I.Q. points, you can afford to give the rest away. You don't need extraordinary intelligence to succeed as an investor.
    - Warren Buffett

  10. Last but not the least: Making costly mistakes

    It is remarkable how much long-term advantage people like us have gotten by trying to be consistently not stupid, instead of trying to be very intelligent.
    - Charlie Munger

    Rule #1: Never lose money; Rule #2: Never forget Rule #1.
    - Warren Buffett

This story first appeared in February 2015.

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