A Wall Street saying since at least the 1960s is that “fear and greed move markets.” Thomas N. Mathers, president of a Chicago investment counselling firm (Mathers and Company) and president of a no-load growth mutual fund (Mathers Fund), told the Chicago (IL) Tribune in 1974 that “fear is temporary and greed is permanent in the makeup of human character.” It is not known if he was the first to use the “fear/greed” saying.
“Fear is temporary, greed is permanent” was made into a desk sign by at least 1997.
13 October 1974, Chicago (IL) Tribune, “Economy needs repairs before bulls can charge,” sec. 2, pg. A19:
“WE MUSTN’T FORGET that fear is temporary and greed is permanent in the makeup of human character,” observed Thomas N. Mathers.
11 September 1997, Los Angeles (CA) Times, “Your Money,” pg. D8:
Smith, who keeps a sign on his desk that reads “Fear is temporary, greed is permanent,” said anxiety over missing out on the rising stock market—the Dow…
Dan Dodge on The Next Big Thing
December 27, 2005
Fear is temporary, greed is permanent
The investment market is driven by two things; fear and greed. Fear is temporary, greed is permanent. Markets over time always move up but there are periods of fear and doubt that cause investors to retreat. Greed takes over when investors see others making money and want to get back in the game before the opportunities get away. This happens in the stock market and in VC investing.
When fear takes over it consumes everyone. Everything looks black. Investments that looked great 6 months ago look like risky charades with no business fundamentals. We saw this happen in 1987, 1994, and 2001. There are usually a few high profile examples of “irrational exuberance” that were indeed big mistakes. Then the rest of the market gets slammed irrationally.
But fear is temporary, greed is permanent. Greed is a much stronger emotion than fear. Greed in this sense is a good thing, more like motivation and risk taking.
The rise of the super-rich
By Christina Corbett Thursday, 23 August 2007 10:40 AM
Sharad Nair tells me something I will do my best to remember: “There are three people that a wealthy man will always surround himself with. That is his doctor, his lawyer and his private banker.”
He imparts this knowledge with a grin. As a successful private banker with Swiss private bank, Bank Sarasin-Alpen (ME) he has had plenty of experience in the company of wealthy men.
He tells me another thing worth remembering. “The two main traits of human beings are greed and fear. The beauty is that greed is permanent but fear is temporary.”
The News-Star (Monroe, LA)
Moderate stock prices predicted for investors
January 2, 2011
It’s important to fully understand financial instruments and products you’re considering. As the old Wall Street adage says: “Fear is temporary. Greed is permanent.”
New York City • Banking/Finance/Insurance • (0) Comments • Thursday, January 20, 2011 • Permalink