The Psychology Of Speculation – The Disconcerting Effect Of Sudden Losses And Gains

Henry Howard Harper: ‘The Psychology of Speculation – The Human Element in Stock Market Transactions’

The Disconcerting Effect of Sudden Losses and Gains, page 17 – 19

There are but few things more unbalancing to the mind than the act of suddenly winning or losing large sums of money. A few years ago at Monte Carlo I was in company with a friend, a well known man of affairs who while there played at roulette nearly every day, merely as pastime. He was of mature age, naturally methodical, conservative, temperate and cool-headed. He made it an unalterable rule to limit his losses to $200 at any one sitting, and on losing his amount he always stopped playing. His bets were usually limited to two dollars on the numbers, and never doubled except for one turn of the wheel when his number won. He generally played three numbers at a time; never more than four. For ten consecutive sittings luck was against him and each time he had lost his stake of $200. I saw him get up and leave the room, apparently in a state of disgust. An hour or so later I discovered him at a roulette table in another room stacking his chips in piles on a dozen or more numbers. (more…)

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