Dieting and investing: Simple, but not easy
Although the trial led to improved quality of life, decreases in sleep apnea, reduced need for diabetes medication, and delayed physical disability, it did not achieve its most important objective of fewer strokes, heart attacks, or cardiovascular deaths. Why didn’t successful dieting and exercise lead to better cardiovascular health? We can’t speak to the puzzling role of exercise here, but based on our expertise in dieting, we think that the explanation may be very simple: The definition of “successful” dieting is flawed. Let’s look closely at the definition of successful dieting. The Institute of Medicine considers a diet successful if people lose just 5 percent of their starting weight and maintain that weight loss for a year.
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Bear markets lead to emotions such as fear and panic taking over from our rational self — which can result in what I call “portfolio suicide.” Merriman put it this way: “You can think of investing as a struggle between the emotions that drive us — hope, fear and greed being three prominent examples — and the iron laws of mathematics and probability.” He also noted another interesting analogy between dieting and investing. When it comes to losing weight, there are the multibillion dollar food and restaurant industries whose best interests are counter to your objectives. Similarly, the interests of Wall Street and most of the financial media run counter to the interests of investors. They need you to pay high fees and stay “tuned in” to what is nothing more than noise.
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