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One of my heroes in this industry is Richard Russell, the legendary publisher of Dow Theory Letters. I don’t always agree with what Ol’ Russell has to say, but the respect I have for him is immeasurable. He’s been writing about the markets for over 50 years. He does it because he loves it. I love writing about the markets too and I hope to still be doing it 50 years from now.
He was also a child of the Depression. There aren’t many of those left. The perspectives that these rare individuals have — not just on the financial markets, but on life – are fascinating and valuable. I’ve never met Richard Russell personally, but I could probably talk to him for days straight. There’s so much to ask. So much to learn from our elders like him. Watching all this experiential wisdom slowly, inevitably disappear into the fog of history always makes me a little sad.
Anyway. It was through Russell’s writings that I learned one of the most important lessons one can learn about investing: Listen to the markets.
Listening is Hard
It’s not entirely natural and the process of listening feels progressively less natural the more self-interested the individual. Every human being is self-interested to a certain degree, and the difficulty we have listening to other people is one of the things we all have in common. It’s more difficult for some than others. But it’s hard for each of us.