Sunday, December 29, 2013

Quote of the Day

Things that aren’t supposed to happen do happen. Short-run outcomes can diverge from the long-run probabilities, and occurrences can cluster. For example, double sixes should come up once in every 36 rolls of the dice. But they can come up five times in a row— and never again in the next 175 rolls— and in the long run have occurred as often as they’re supposed to. Relying to excess on the fact that something “should happen” can kill you when it doesn’t. Even if you properly understand the underlying probability distribution, you can’t count on things happening as they’re supposed to. And the success of your investment actions shouldn’t be highly dependent on normal outcomes prevailing; instead, you must allow for outliers.

- Howard Marks, The Most Important Thing Illuminated: Uncommon Sense for the Thoughtful Investor

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