by Jesse H. Thompson
"A great thorough-going man does not confine himself to one school, but combines many schools, as well
as reads and listens to the arguments of many predecessors, thereby slowly forming a style of his own...," Kuo Hsi, artist-priest, 11th Century China
Today's overcapacity in processing information fuels great opportunity in many ways, but where
reward treads, risk follows. And from the vantage point of the speculator, risk deserves the greater focus
because it is human nature to focus on reward with too little attention on risk. The old adage, "Take care
of your losses and your profits will take care of themselves," invokes a risk-focus instead of the
reward-focus, commonly entertained by most market participants. One risk of an overcapacity to process
information is the disrepute of enduring principles. Enduring principles by their very nature are
indomitable, though capable of addition and expansion to obtain a greater polish, they remain invincible.
Dickson Watts, a speculator from the late 1800's said: "Learn principles. The facts will then fall into their
proper relations and connections."
Without the learning of principles, our ability to progress as students of market behavior is slackened.
Let's examine a few principles yielding from dusty bookshelves: