A slot machine’s reels represent the fact that investing without a plan is just gambling.

I have a friend who got lucky on the stock market. He didn’t know anything about investing so he followed a tip. The tip turned out to be a golden ticket. He made a lot of money quickly.

How much more could he make at this rate? Why hadn’t he done this before?

The strategy was obvious: double down.

He put an app on his phone. Talked about crypto. Gold bars in the house. He’d caught the bug.

If it was exotic, risky, and backed by a get-rich-quick theory then he was into it.

He kept gambling. Kept pushing it. High like a tourist in a casino. On a hot streak.

Until his luck ran out.

He no more understood why he was losing than he had when he was winning.

He hadn’t learned the fundamentals. Couldn’t bear to put it down to dumb luck. Now he had two problems:

  • The loss of a paper fortune.
  • The loss of his self-identified investing genius.

He was a busted flush. Staring into the ashes like a defeated emperor.

Today he’s in full retreat. Rebuilding is unthinkable because it means facing the facts. Nobody wants to be thought a fool. Least of all by themselves.

He’s just turned the wrong side of 40. It’s past time to get a plan. But moving back up to the start line has turned into a walk of shame – in his head.

You won’t read about him in any newspaper. He’s neither rags-to-riches nor riches-to-rags.

He’s just another guy who wasted time and money on a shortcut.

Take it steady,

The Accumulator

Reader! Do you have an anecdote to share about the perils of (not) getting rich quick? Please share it in the comments below.

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