“The investor who says, ‘This time is different,’ when in fact it’s virtually a repeat of an earlier situation, has uttered among the four most costly words in the annals of investing” — Sir John Templeton
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In this quote, Sir John Templeton seems to be warning investors against dismissing past market patterns and assuming the current situation is unique. A few key points:
- Thinking “this time is different” suggests believing a repeat of an earlier financial situation won’t occur again.
- However, Templeton notes such situations often virtually repeat, so dismissing history is a mistake.
- Dismissing the value of learning from the past leads investors to make poor decisions that end up being “among the four most costly” in terms of financial losses.
Overall, the quote conveys Templeton’s view that investors should carefully study historical market cycles and precedents, rather than assuming the present is exceptional. Failing to acknowledge that “this too shall pass” can prove very expensive, in his experience. The lesson is to avoid complacency and respect that history often rhymes.