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Memories Michel Pireu     | Business Day Wednesday, November 21, 2018
From The Irrelevant Investor, Michael Batnick:

“I remember when” shapes our beliefs. We view the world through the prism of our own experiences, whether we realize it or not.

In Everybody Lies, Seth Stephens-Davidowitz writes: “Many of our adult behaviours and interests, even those that we consider fundamental to who we are, can be explained by the arbitrary facts of when we were born and what was going on in certain key years when we were young.”

The arbitrary fact of when you were born might be the single most important factor when determining your experience in the market. It’s also the one that is completely out of your hands.

The Great Depression left scars on an entire generation. If we were to experience another catastrophe like this today, the Dow would be below 3,000 in September 2021. If I saw stocks fall 90%, I don’t think what happened next would influence me at all. The Dow could rise to 50,000 by 2030 and I would kick and scream the whole way up, with a tin foil hat on for good measure.

In the late 1970s, Gold experienced one of the greatest bull markets of all time, gaining 706% in 3.4 years. To put this into context, if this happened today, the Dow would be over 200,000 halfway through the next Presidential term. There is a reason why most gold bugs are over 50.

There is a certain point beyond which new information does not affect how you see the world. “I remember” when is more powerful than new information. “I remember when” is not influenced by new technology. “I remember when” is personal, which makes it difficult to break free from, but it’s important to be open minded to the idea that the future does not have to look like our past, for better and for worse.
 
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