Zurich Axioms by Max Gunther – great advice from Wall Street that can be applied to a number of walks of life.
The First Major Axiom on Risk
Worry is not a sickness but a sign of health. If you are not worried, you are not risking enough.
Minor 1 : Always play for meaningful stakes.
Minor 2 : Resist the allure of diversification
The Second Major Axiom on Greed
Always take a profit too soon.
Minor 3 : Decide in advance what gain you want from a venture, and when you get it, get out.
The Third Major Axiom on Hope
When the ship starts to sink, don’t pray. Jump.
Minor 4 : Accept small loses cheerfully as a fact of life. Expect to experience several while you are awaiting a large gain.
The Fourth Major Axiom on Forecasts
Human behaviour cannot be predicted. Distrust anyone who claims to know the future, however dimly.
The Fifth Major Axiom on Patterns
Chaos is not dangerous until it begins to look orderly.
Minor 5 : Beware the historians trap.
Minor 6 : Beware the chartist’s illusion.
Minor 7 : Beware the Correlations and Causality Delusions.
Minor 8 : Beware the gambler’s fallacy.
The Sixth Major Axiom on Mobility
Avoid putting down roots. They impede motion.
Minor 9 : Do not become trapped in a souring venture because of sentiments like loyalty and nostalgia.
Minor 10 : Never hesitate to abandon a venture if something more attractive comes in to view.
The Seventh Major Axiom on Intuition
A hunch can be trusted if it can be explained.
Minor 11 :Never confuse a hunch with hope.
The Eighth Major Axiom on Religion and the Occult
It is unlikely that god’s plan for the universe includes making you rich.
Minor 12 : If astrology worked all astrologers would be rich.
Minor 13 : A superstition need not be exorcised. It can be enjoyed, provided that it is kept in its place.
The Ninth Major Axiom on Optimism and Pessimism
Optimism means expecting the best, but confidence means knowing how you will handle the worst. Never make a move if you are merely optimistic.
The Tenth Major Axiom on Consensus
Disregard the majority opinion. It is probably wrong.
Minor 14 : Never follow speculative fads. Often the best time to buy something is when nobody else wants it.
The Eleventh Major Axiom on Stubbornness
If it doesn’t pay off the first time, forget it.
Minor 15 : Never try to save a bad investment by ‘averaging down’
The Twelfth Major Axiom on Planning
Long range plans engender the dangerous belief that the future is under control. It is important never to take you own long range plans or other people’s seriously.
Minor 16 : Shun long term investments