Michel Pireu Columnist

''The crowd always loses because the crowd is always wrong. It is wrong because it behaves normally," said Fred C Kelly in a book titled Why You Win or Lose: the Psychology of Speculation, published in 1930. Kelly’s key to success, in his estimation, largely turned on his ability to not do what everyone else was doing. In other words, he didn’t follow the crowd. But it isn’t an easy thing to do he says. "If you think it is easy to do invariably the opposite of what seems to be the sensible thing that everybody else is doing, just try it. "At every step, one is tempted to do that which seems logical, but which is nevertheless unwise." Humphrey B Neill, a contemporary of Kelly’s, agreed with him and shortly after the 1929 crash wrote: "In as much as it is impossible to accurately time the reactions of the crowd, it is advantageous to consider the opposite of what appears probable. The crowd has been so wrong so frequently in their opinions ... that it is imperative to look on the unsu...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, Morningstar financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Times Select.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.



Questions or problems? Email helpdesk@businesslive.co.za or call 0860 52 52 00.