Our Daily Bleg: Wall Street Proverbs, Please

Here’s the latest guest bleg from Fred Shapiro, editor of the Yale Book of Quotations. His past blegs can be found here; send us your own bleg requests here.

The Motley Fool used my blegging for modern proverbs as an inspiration to write about “investing proverbs.”

Wall Street is indeed a rich source of memorable quotations, including: “Buy on the rumor, sell on the news”; “Sell in May and go away”; and “The trend is your friend.” Can Freakonomics readers suggest other investing proverbs?

P.S. — A number of readers have called upon me to include an answer section for my blegs. I intend to address this within the next few weeks.

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  1. Erika says:

    Just to go with volume, a slight tweak to #2.
    Bears make money; bulls make money; pigs lose their shirt. Which I like better than slaughter, although now that I think on it, slaughter makes more sense than fashion losing hogs.

    I thought there were more of these aphorisms. I guess not.

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  2. Sail Boffin says:

    Think big, think positive, never show any sign of weakness. Always go for the throat. Buy low, sell high. Fear? That’s the other guy’s problem. Nothing you have ever experienced will prepare you for the absolute carnage you are about to witness. Super Bowl, World Series – they don’t know what pressure is. In this building, it’s either kill or be killed. You make no friends in the pits and you take no prisoners. One minute you’re up half a million in soybeans and the next, boom, your kids don’t go to college and they’ve repossessed your Bentley. Are you with me? — Louis Winthorpe III

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  3. zbicyclist says:

    ziggurat (#12) listed some opposing pairs, reminding me of the law of cliches:

    “For every cliche, there is an equal and opposite cliche.”

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  4. Dan M says:

    Buy the dips, sell the rips.

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  5. Evan says:

    From the subprime mess, “A rolling loan gathers no loss.”

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  6. John R says:

    I’m a software engineer, but for the first five years of my career I worked for a hedge fund and sat with the traders at the trading desk. There are two bits of wisdom that I still recall, years later:

    1) Never confuse brains with a bull market.

    2) Never pay interest on a depreciating asset.

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  7. Kevin says:

    “Always leave a little bit on the table for the next guy.”

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  8. timmyp says:

    vol is toast, bring out the jam.

    they’re prices, not house numbers.

    i don’t pay you to think, i pay you to do.

    The road to hell is paved with positive carry

    I asked for the two-way price, not the high and low on the year

    want a friend, buy a dog.

    Its not the despair that gets you, its the hope.

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