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The Wisdom of the Ages

Some of life's most important lessons have been stated in a few words—why should financial advice be any
different? From Motley Fool, here are a few quotes to get you thinking! You've probably heard most of them, but have you ever thought about them in relation to finance?

"Certainty? In this world nothing is certain but death and taxes."

The grim words of Ben Franklin, but an important lesson on investing. If you have a stock that's "certain" to do well, you need to take another look at the broad picture. People fool themselves into believing that what they have is the end-all to their
investment needs and that just ain't the case. Sorry, but it's time for a reality check! Your retirement is in the balance!

"Those that fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it."

Ah, good old Winston Churchill. The man was a veritable goldmine of wisdom, and this statement teaches an important lesson about investing. Pay attention to the cycles! Bubbles burst, plain and simple. Take a look at the dot-com burst in the 90s
and now the real estate burst. History has a funny way of repeating itself, no?

"I've made up my mind...don't confuse me with the facts!"

Chris Axon may not have wanted to be confused by the facts, but investors certainly should be. Last year when certain stocks were trading well above their market value people didn't care. As long as the stocks were doing well, that's all that mattered. But, as facts change, an investor must be open-minded to their current situation.

When your retirement is on the line or when you're looking at building wealth, investing is a great option. You have to be open to change as the market does and with that, these quotes provide valuable lessons.

What's the best piece of advice you ever received?

Posted: 5/22/08