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Chapter 1. Sages and Charlatans: Avoiding the Fads, the Buzz, the Rip-Offs, ...

Chapter 1. Sages and Charlatans: Avoiding the Fads, the Buzz, the Rip-Offs, and the Merely Dumb

“You could step into the store and see what’s going on. Are people buying, are there a lot of people? And then when you see the CEO and he says there are a lot of people coming into the stores, you have to compare the two. And if you know that there aren’t a lot of people, then you know there is something fishy.”

—Patrick Gallimore, 14, who attends a stock market education program at the Dr. Gladstone H. Atwell Middle School 61 in Brooklyn, New York

Soon after I moved to New York, in 1999, I met a Chinese woman who had saved every cent to come and study in the United States. Hers was typical of the resourceful immigrant stories on which this city lives and breathes. But it soon became a cautionary tale from which I will show how investors can learn important lessons about the nature of risk.


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