The Zurich Axioms by Max Gunther 1985
The First Major Axiom: ON RISK
- Worry is not a sickness but a sign of health. If you are not worried, you are not risking enough.
- Minor Axiom I: Always play for meaningful stakes.
- Minor Axiom II: Resist the allure of diversification.
The Second Major Axiom ON GREED
- Always take your profit too soon.
- Minor Axiom III: Decide in advance what gain you want from a venture, and when you get it, get out.
The Third Major Axiom ON HOPE
- When the ship starts to sink, don’t pray. Jump.
- Minor Axiom IV: Accept small losses cheerfully as a fact of life. Expect to experience several while awaiting a large gain.
The Fourth Major Axiom ON FORECAST
- Human behavior cannot be predicted. Distrust anyone who claims to know the future, however dimly.
The Fifth Major Axiom ON PATTERNS
- Chaos is not dangerous until it begins to look orderly.
- Minor Axiom V: Beware the Historian’s Trap.
- Minor Axiom VI: Beware the Chartist’s Illusion.
- Minor Axiom VII: Beware the Correlation and Causality Delusions.
- Minor Axiom VIII: Beware the Gambler’s Fallacy.
The Sixth Major Axiom ON MOBILITY
- Avoid putting down roots. They impede motion.
- Minor Axiom IX: Do not become trapped in a souring venture because of sentiments like loyalty and nostalgia.
- Minor Axiom X: Never hesitate to abandon a venture if something more attractive comes into view.
The Seventh Major Axiom ON INTUITION
- A hunch can be trusted if it can be explained.
- Minor Axiom XI: Never confuse a hunch with a hope.
The Eighth Major Axiom ON RELIGION AND THE OCCULT
- It is unlikely that God’s plan for the universe includes making you rich.
- Minor Axiom XII: If astrology worked, all astrologers would be rich.
- Minor Axiom XIII: A superstition need not be exorcised. It can be enjoyed, provided it is kept in its place.
The Ninth Major Axiom ON OPTIMISM AND PESSIMISM
- Optimism means expecting the best, but confidence means knowing how to handle the worst. Never make a move if you are merely optimistic.
The Tenth Major Axiom ON CONSENSUS
- Disregard the majority opinion as it is probably wrong.
- Minor Axiom XIV: Never follow speculative fads. Often, the best time to buy something is when nobody else wants it.
The Eleventh Major Axiom ON STUBBORNNESS
- If it doesn’t pay off the first time, forget it.
- Minor Axiom XV: Never try to save a bad investment by “averaging down.”
The Twelfth Major Axiom ON PLANNING
- Long-range plans engender the dangerous belief that the future is under control. It is important never to take your own or other people’s long-range plans seriously
- Minor Axiom XVI: Shun long-term investments.