Most people are not investors even if they say they are. I make this claim from many years of interacting with people I know and also from volumes of academic research into investor behavior in a field that is now called behavioral finance.

To invest is to put money in something where the odds are in your favor. This is opposite of gambling where you know the odds are highly against you, but you choose to gamble anyway for the hope of quick riches.

Gambling-like behavior is pervasive in the stock market, my focus in this blog. When an “investor” bets on a few stocks instead of diversifying across many to reduce stock-specific risks, when he turns over over his portfolio at the drop of a hat instead of patiently holding for long-term returns, when he focuses his trades on the most volatile stocks (usually those that appear regularly in the most-active