Cancer and investing are topics that seem so distant. But you can learn a lot about something by studying other areas and finding parallels. There’s an important lesson that cancer can teach us about investing.

Simple way to win cancer 

Robert Weinberg is an expert on cancer research from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In the documentary The Emperor of All Maladies, Weinberg said (emphases are mine):

“If you don’t get cancer, you’re not going to die from it. That’s a simple truth that we [doctors and medical researchers] sometimes overlook because it’s intellectually not very stimulating and exciting.

Persuading somebody to quit smoking is a psychological exercise. It has nothing to do with molecules and genes and cells, and so people like me are essentially uninterested in it – in spite of the fact that stopping people from smoking will have vastly more effect on cancer mortality than anything I