Some Investor Stories Make Me Sad

When I was a sophomore in college during the financial crisis, I was an assistant (TA by another name) for a senior that was best friends with a professor. The senior I was working for was an accounting major, and she would frequently discuss individual stocks and general portfolio management with the professor in question.

One day, in 2009, the professor said, “I just lost a million dollars officially. I can’t do this anymore.” She sold all her individual stocks, mutual fund holdings, and went to cash. I didn’t say anything because (1) I wasn’t part of the conversation, (2) I was an English major, and believe it or not, millionaires don’t want financial advice from teenagers that sit in the atrium reading Charles Dickens, and (3) my real-life personality is such that I don’t talk finances unless I’m invited to do so because I don’t take unsolicited advice seriously and it’s not my position to impose on others (especially those in what society would recognize as being in a superior position).

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