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  • Writer's pictureLaura Jones

10 Wise Quotes about the Stock Market and Trading

There are so many quotes doing the rounds about the markets and trading, and to be fair, most are pretty good. But what of those that are a little less known? Do they provide wisdom, entertainment and even humour?

Here, I have put together 10 of my favourite quotes on the markets and trading, some more well-known than others…

My 10 Favourite Quotes about the Markets and Trading

We’ll start way back in the 1700s, with this quote from Voltaire, who had a very positive (and slightly amusing) view on the traders of the London Stock Exchange:

"Go into the London Stock Exchange – a more respectable place than many a court – and you will see representatives from all nations gathered together for the utility of men."

In stark contrast, in his book Flash Boys, Michael Lewis takes a more sceptical view on the modern stock market:

"The U.S. stock market now trades inside black boxes, in heavily guarded buildings in New Jersey and Chicago."

This well-known quote from Warren Buffet doesn’t pull any punches:

"The main purpose of the stock market is to make fools of as many men as possible."

Benjamin Graham (in his book The Intelligent Investor) gives us his take on market participants being made up of optimists and pessimists:

"The market is a pendulum that forever swings between unsustainable optimism and unjustified pessimism. The intelligent investor is a realist who sells to optimists and buys from pessimists."

Any boxing fans out there? Metaphors are great when describing the mechanics of trading, and Peter B. Lockhart gets his point across by using what happens in the boxing ring:

"In boxing, to avoid being punched, you can block, parry, slip, sidestep, or get out of the ring. It works exactly the same, in stock market investment."

Peter B. Lockhart quote

Now on to top tips from those who have travelled the trading road before. William J O’Neill reminds us that it’s not worth fighting the market, and looking after ourselves mentally and physically is the most important thing we can do:

"The moral of the story is: never argue with the market. Your health and peace of mind are always more important than any stock."

Another warning about trying to force your own logic on seemingly-irrational price movements comes from Aswath Damodaran:

"Einstein was right about relativity, but even he would have had a difficult time applying relative valuation in today's stock markets."

Here's a top tip from Manoj Arora, about what to avoid even before you start engaging with the market:

"Never invest in stocks with borrowed money or a faint heart. Both are fatal."

The next step before actually trading, is having a plan, and Denise Shull points out that there are two key mistakes made by traders at this point:

"The mistake too many people make, it seems, is either not having the plan in the first place or once they do, treating it as immutable law."

Denise Skull quote

And lastly, here's a message from Nassim Nicholas Taleb (author of The Black Swan) about the importance of making your own decisions in trading and investing:

"Yet they believe blindly in the stock market, and in the abilities of their pension plan manager. Why do they do so? Because they accept that this is what people should do with their savings, because "experts" tell them so. The doubt their own sense, but not for a second do they doubt their automatic purchases in the stock market."

Looking for another way to trade the markets?

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