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The Money Game by Adam Smith

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18. TIMING, AND A DIVERSION: THE COCOA GAME

The further we come along, the more apparent becomes the wisdom of the Master in describing the market as a game of musical chairs. The most brilliant and perceptive analysis you can do may sit there until someone else believes it too, for the object of the game is not to own some stock, like a faithful dog, which you have chosen, but to get to the piece of paper ahead of the crowd. Value is not only inherent in the stock; to do you any good, it has to be value that is appreciated by others. (Analysts at White, Weld walk around repeating “I have always preferred recognition to discovery” because that is an aphorism of one of the partners.)

It follows that some sort of sense of timing is necessary, and ...

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