“I had always assumed,” wrote Joey Anuff in Dumb Money, which he co-wrote with Gary Wolf and published in 2000, “that even if the market dropped radically all the traders in the world would simultaneously scream ‘Buying opportunity!’ and we’d race up again. I believed that after a big dip there would be lots of cash available to go back into the market.

“This, I learned, is a common misconception based on a failure to recognise that after a long, relentless bull run, a run that forces all the lingering sceptics to give in, all the cash is already in the market. And then it is gone. Gone where? Gone, as a great speculator once said, ‘where the woodbine twineth’. He meant, I’m pretty sure, up the spout. Gone, in the words of another grim accountant, to join ‘the silent majority of vanished savings’...

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