At the end of the Hall of Greater Fools is a mirror. Buff, unaware of entering the building, actually thinks of himself as a prudent investor. After all, he owns no junk, only the shares of great businesses. And the market's constant vindication of his judgment only reinforces his conviction and self-image. Obviously, selling his best performers to dabble in anything else would be wildly speculative and he has convinced himself that he is a risk-averse investor, even a "value" investor. Buying and holding, using inflows to add to positions, is his watchword.

Occasionally, one of Buff's shooting stars falls to earth; fortunately, his compatriots at other mutual funds probably owned it in about the same proportion. Then he does what you should always do when a stock disappoints and plunges in price: He blows it out. You can't, after all, trust a company that is incapable of massaging earnings into a steady growth pattern; why, the same thing might happen again. And he knows all his compadres are thinking the same thing and blowing it out, too.

Buff has a lot of company. His stocks are going up, not necessarily because they should but because they do. That no one can think of why they wouldn't is taken as evidence that they will rise further.

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