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Human Nature

By Charles Payne CEO & Principal Analyst

The challenge of adjusting without abandoning principles is also the realization that there could be an evolutionary occurrence in the world of finance and markets, and your principles must evolve as well.

On Wall Street, old-timers like to say, “I’ve seen this movie before,” when explaining why they are missing out on the hottest investing craze. Indeed, they are often right rather than wrong, as most crazes evolve around human behavior, which never changes.

Think of the seven deadly sins:

  • Lust
  • Gluttony
  • Greed
  • Sloth
  • Wrath
  • Envy
  • Pride


Hieronymus Bosch- The Seven Deadly Sins and the Four Last Things

Our emotional swings are hardwired, so we repeatedly fall for the same schemes, especially when it comes to what appears to be easy money.

But structural changes mean things are different this time or, at the very least, prolonged.

That brings me to the other saying: Wall Street old-timers like to use it when their approach isn’t working, “which will end badly. “It sounds like sour grapes, partly because it is sour grapes. It’s a claim that can be made about everything. 

But it’s a poor excuse for prolonged underperformance.

For instance, the Chicago Bulls have been a losing team since Michael Jordan retired. Someone could have chimed in in their heyday and said: “This will not end well.”  And now that same person could say, “I told you so.”

But that would not detract from the team's championship run and the associated thrills, enjoyment, and riches during that period.

Right now, I’m a Wall Street timer who has pledged never to become a Wall Street old-timer in spirit or practice. The good news is I came up the hard way, so I’m hardwired to be amendable when the situation demands it.

Therein lies the hard part – does the situation demand it right now?

How much of the current stock market situation is a paradigm shift, and how much is the kind of flash in the pan that eventually fizzles?

For that, we must look closer at the present environment.

To read the full report, contact your account representative or email Info@wstreet.com.

Charles Payne
Wall Street Strategies


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