It is sometimes said that to be an intelligent investor, you must be unemotional. That isn't true; instead, you should be inversely emotional.
Even after recent turbulence, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is up roughly 30% since its low in March. It is natural for you to feel happy or relieved about that. But Benjamin Graham believed, instead, that you should train yourself to feel worried about such events.
At this moment, consulting Mr. Graham's wisdom is especially fitting. Sixty years ago, on May 25, 1949, the founder of financial analysis published his book, "The Intelligent Investor," in whose honor this column is named. And today the market seems to be in just the kind of mood that would have worried Mr. Graham: a jittery optimism, an insecure and almost desperate need to believe that the worst is over.
You can't turn off your feelings, of course. But you can, and should, turn them inside out.
Mr. Graham's immersion in literature, mathematics and philosophy, he once remarked, helped him view the markets "from the standpoint of eternity, rather than day-to-day."
Perhaps as a result, he almost invariably read the enthusiasm of others as a yellow caution light, and he took their misery as a sign of hope.