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The piece debunks the misleading nature of precise predictions, especially in predicting stock prices. It asserts that while financial figures can be estimated, the emotional aspect – the 'story' investors attach to those numbers – is impossible to predict accurately.
The author draws a parallel between predicting market returns and predicting people's future moods, emphasizing the inherent uncertainty in both scenarios.
The article points out the tendency to highlight rewards without considering the accompanying costs, leading to dissatisfaction and unhappiness. It uses investing as an example, where potential returns are emphasized while volatility and challenges are downplayed.
The author warns against overlooking the complete picture of rewards and costs, and how this incomplete perspective contributes to unhappiness.
Unnecessary complexity is criticized, with Stephen King's perspective on writing serving as an example in his book On Writing:
This is a short book because most books about writing are filled with bullshit. I figured the shorter the book, the less bullshit.
Simplicity is championed, and the author asserts that shorter, less complex approaches often contain less 'bullshit.'
Not all success is due to hard work and not all failure is due to laziness. Even if you agree with that, it’s astounding how easy it is to jump to conclusions.
In most cases of extreme success or failure, the line between bold and reckless was thin.
What separates the billionaires from the bankruptcies can be the slimmest movement – one customer’s choice, a judge’s decision, or a fluke where fate went one way when it easily could have gone the other.
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