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Take investment-related aphorisms with lots of salt

For example, to see the real link between bond performance and interest rates, think total returns.

IT FIGURES Margin debt is a backward-looking indicator that tells you nothing else beyond how the stock market has performed in the past. There's no link to euphoria in the markets.

THERE are rules of thumb and aphorisms that investors accept without investigating their merits based on historical evidence. For example, many assume that buying individual bonds is safer than owning a bond mutual fund or ETF because it will shield them from interest-rate risk. The idea is that...

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