At least ten hands shoot into the air as the discussion turns to stock selection. The speaker smiles, responds to each, and observes: “You really need to know the depth of the water, its temperature, tides, and currents before you dive into the river — and then, what kind of predators are in there?”

Flying low over coastal South Carolina, I’m probably the only person on the plane who sees the meandering rivers and tidal creeks as a history of stock market cycles. How does one navigate these complex connections without getting lost, running aground, or being attacked by alligators?

How does one select equity securities in a manner that consistently avoids the risks of volatile markets, fickle investors, abusive regulators, regressive tax codes, and brainwashed investment gurus? Along with self-confidence and experience, it takes some management skills that most investors fail to sharpen before they launch their boat — planning, organizing, and controlling.
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