We are coming to the end of two long and arduous years of investing. Along the way we have endured one of the worst selloffs and rebounds in stock market history, a systemic breakdown of the global financial system, and volatility not seen since the 1987 stock market crash. Fortunes have been made and lost. Investor confidence was shaken and very much stirred.
Very few people sold at the top in 2007 and then bought the bottom in 2009; some did manage to do one of those two things. Some bought the top and sold the bottom; most performed somewhere in between.
Now it's time to measure individual performance and prepare to move on to 2010. Naturally, we'll cling to some age-old trading and investment maxims, which are often the root of common faux pas made by bulls and bears, traders and investors, equity and fixed-income types.
Much of the following is presented in a tongue-in-cheek manner, but paying careful attention to this list also might help us to learn from our mistakes. So without further ado, here is my list of the five greatest lies of investing: