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Beat the Crowd: How You Can Out-Invest the Herd by Thinking Differently by Kenneth L. Fisher, Elisabeth Dellinger

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CHAPTER 10 The Negative Myopic Media

Investing is full of challenges. Overcoming emotion. Battling your urges to chase heat and flee in fear. And a biggie—defending your brain and soul from the overwhelming 24/7 noise machine that is modern media.

Humans aren’t wired for this. We’re patterned after our stone-age ancestors. Our brains never evolved to filter scores of competing opinions from faraway people we don’t know—our distant ancestors never had to! They knew everyone, knew who to trust—broadly true of society up to your grandparents’ or great-grandparents’ time. Today, few have roots in the community they call home. Some do! You might! But most migrated from somewhere for school, a job, a spouse or pure wanderlust. Most migrated more than once. America’s internal migrations keep accelerating as the Boomers retire, and the Millennials are the most mobile generation ever. But all that is recent by evolutional standards. From the dawn of civilization through most of the nineteenth century, life was simpler and smaller. People were born, lived and died in one community. Migration was rare and is relatively new. Each person’s reputation was set in stone and known to all.

The same was broadly true of the media for most of the twentieth century. In my father’s prime, when I was a boy and young adult, there were three TV networks, one national newspaper and your local paper. Most big cities had a morning and afternoon paper that may have been read in suburbs along with a local ...

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