Understanding The Stock Market: What Is It And How Does It Work

(And Why We Think It Will Continue Going Up)

Philosopher: And what kind of business is this about which I have often heard people talk but which I neither understand nor have made efforts to comprehend? And I have found no book that deals with the subject and makes apprehension easier.

Shareholder: I really must say you are an ignorant person, friend Greybeard, if you know nothing of this enigmatic business [stocks] which is at once the fairest and most deceitful in Europe, the noblest and the most infamous in the world, the finest and the most vulgar on earth. It is a quintessence of academic learning and a paragon of fraudulence; it is a touchstone for the intelligent and a tombstone for the audacious, a treasury of usefulness and a source of disaster, and finally a counterpart of Sisyphus who never rests as also of Ixion who is chained to a wheel that turns perpetually.

Confusion of Confusions, Joseph de le Vega, 1688

The stock market is hard. Really it is. There is perhaps no other institution where the cold, inhuman objectivity of all the available information speaks indiscriminately and for itself. When it does, it does so with a force that can scarcely regard our irrelevant emotions or biases. When people tell you that the stock market is easy and to ‘just l...

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