Page 107

Goddess Fortuna

107

Devouring the News

Goddess Fortuna Many investors believe market watchers and financial journalists have a special ability to forecast future movements of markets, but history tells a different story. Take the first half of 2009, when market forecasters largely dismissed the rise in stock prices that began in mid-March 2009 as an aberration that would soon be rectified. Only market timers who had the Goddess Fortuna, also known as Lady Luck, whispering in their ears might have predicted that outcome. The Goddess Fortuna offers a cornucopia of gold coins and delicious treats, but she is sitting on a bubble that floats in the ocean, reminding us how fleeting luck can be. Also, her flowing scarf reminds worshipers that their fortune can change like the wind.

News Is Devoured In Minutes In Analysis for Financial Management,68 Robert C. Higgins portrays how market participants instantly devour new information, which serves as the inspiration for the painting on the following pages. “The arrival of new information to a competitive market can be likened to the arrival of a lamb chop to a school of flesh-eating piranhas,” Higgins writes. “The instant the lamb chop hits the water there is turmoil as the piranhas devour the meat. Very soon, the meat is gone, leaving only the worthless bone behind, and the water returns to normal… no amount of gnawing on the bone will yield any more meat, and no further study of old information will yield any more valuable intelligence.”

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