Invest to Win and Avoid the Blunders 144 In short, a disciplined investment strategy, as presented in this chapter, can help you avoid the type of investment blunders that can devastate your wealth and your dreams for the future. However, it is easier to implement this plan than it is to stick to it. We live in a culture that conditions us to believe that the purpose for investing is to get rich. More specifically, investing is for getting rich quickly. These social and cultural pressures lead to bad investor behaviors and significantly increase the chance of experiencing a blunder. A disciplined approach will help you get rich, in part, because you avoid these blunders. But you will get rich slowly. It is very hard to maintain this discipline in the face of these social pressures. You may feel left out of the conversation when your colleagues are talking about their latest stock purchase or the com- pany whose stocks have doubled recently. Believe me, I experience immense pressures. When people learn that I teach stock valuation to undergraduate and graduate students, they always want to know what stocks I hold. They always seem disappointed when I tell them about Spiders, Qubes, and Diamonds. Like myself, many finance professors use an indexing strategy. We are experts in stock valuation, and yet we index. What does this tell you? It might not make us the most popular conversationalist at the party, but it gives us the best chance to achieve our financial goals. After all, money is just a tool to help you realize your dreams. It is not a measuring stick or a scoreboard. Endnotes 1 . 2 . These inflation rates are calculated using the Consumer Price Index. This process is particularly accurate for typical cases. Investors planning to retire very soon typically have already accumulated much wealth. Their annual contributions are small relative to their current wealth. However, an investor who plans to retire soon and has no wealth would not be a typical case. People with many years until retirement typically have a low amount of wealth. The estimates for an atypical case will not be as accurate. Edwin Elton, Martin Gruber, George Comer, and Kai Li, 2002, "Spiders: Where Are the Bugs?" Journal of Business, 75(3). 3 .