Beating A Wildly Efficient Stock Market

Since 1950, the number of buildings in the United States that catch on fire has decreased by 92%. This reduction in property loss is the result of fire-resistant building materials, major improvements in heating devices like space heaters, and even the addition of smoke detectors and sprinkler systems to middle-class homes.

When I recommend that people recognize reality as it is rather than how they wish it would be, the investor insights usually involve grudging acceptance of the foibles of human nature. People may not like smoking or drinking, but the data shows that the consumption of cigarettes and beer remains strong in spite of government regulations aimed at deterrence—harsher DWI consequences, restrictions on smoking-permitted locations, advertising bans and curtailments, and even excise taxes.

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