by: Jeff Nielson
August 2, 2012
It’s easy to imagine readers glancing at this title and asking themselves “what possible relevance could this have with respect to modern markets?” Even if there was some relevance, “what could adult investors learn from this old children’s fable?”
To answer those questions properly requires first briefly summarizing the fable. We had a Great Race between a (quietly confident) Tortoise and an arrogant, condescending Hare. When the race began, the Hare immediately sprinted way ahead of the much slower Tortoise. However, over-confidence took over and the Hare began show-boating and goofing off, and the Tortoise caught up.
This caused the Hare to once again sprint to a large lead, before again succumbing to over-confidence. The pattern repeats itself, with the Hare eventually goofing off once too often – allowing the Tortoise to cross the finish-line first. The details of the fable are generally considered totally irrelevant with respect to the “moral” of this story: slow and steady wins the race.
It’s now possible to answer the questions posed in the first paragraph. What relevance does “The Tortoise and the Hare” have for modern markets? Throughout the entire history of human investing, “slow and steady wins the race” has been the dominant principle of investing…until the last 15 years. That marked the approximate turning point, from which time the fraud-peddlers of Wall Street and their accomplices in the Corporate Media have brainwashed the Investor Sheep into forgetting that basic principle.