The Investor Community’s Fear of Volatility

When I spent one summer teaching a math course to elementary school students that had a personal finance component to it, I was dissatisfied with the type of material that I was assigned to teach. I was supposed to have students answer True/False questions with information like the following: T/F Bonds are safer than stocks. The correct answer, according to the handout, is bonds under the theory that the relatively less volatility is proof of superior safety.

I understand that you have to start somewhere, and introductory information should be easy to grasp. Oversimplification comes with the territory. The problem is that the introductory information has the greatest consequences of you learn it wrong–initial impressions are the hardest to overcome because they serve as the foundation base–and can’t be weeded out as easily as false information acquired deep into a professional career when you already have a process for correcting … Read the rest of this article!