The speculator’s chief enemies are always boring from within. It is inseparable from human nature to hope and to fear. In speculation when the market goes against you you hope that every day will be the last day — and you lose more than you should had you not listened to hope — to the same ally that is so potent a success-bringer to empire builders and pioneers, big and little. And when the market goes your way you become fearful that the next day will take away your profit, and get out — too soon. Fear keeps you from making as much money as you ought to. The successful trader has to fight these two deep-seated instincts. He has to reverse what you might call his natural impulses. Instead of hoping he must fear; instead of fearing he must hope. He must fear that his loss may develop into a much bigger loss, and hope that his profit may become a big profit. It is absolutely wrong to gamble in stocks the way the average man does.
Tips! How people want tips! They crave not only to get them but to give them. There is greed involved, and vanity. It is very amusing, at times, to watch really intelligent people fish for them. And the tip-giver need not hesitate about the quality, for the tip-seeker is not really after good tips, but after any tip. If it makes good, fine! If it doesn’t, better luck with the next. I am thinking of the average customer of the average commission house. There is a type of promoter or manipulator that believes in tips first, last and all the time. A good flow of tips is considered by him as a sort of sublimated publicity work, the best merchandising dope in the world, for, since tip-seekers and tip-takers are invariably tip-passers, tip-broadcasting becomes a sort of endless-chain advertising. The tipster-promoter labours under the delusion that no human being breathes who can resist a tip if properly delivered. He studies the art of handing them out artistically.