The thing to remember about investing is that there’s no point in putting in the tremendous effort unless you aim to do better than the market average. If you just want to meet the average returns on the stock market, that’s easy — put all of your money into a low-cost index fund and just sit on it.

If you’re doing stock and options trading, it’s with an aim to beat the market, and when you’re playing that game, you’re playing against extremely well-funded people with a lot of tools and brainpower who have studied this problem inside and out. You may be able to identify a few things and make a profit some of the time, but the odds are heavily against you being able to do it consistently outside of a market bubble.

This leads back, again, to the issue of protecting your financial foundation. Do not put your financial foundation at risk in an investment world where you have a much smaller pool of money to invest and a lot fewer resources and a lot less insider knowledge. It’s not a winning recipe.

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