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Don't underestimate your investing skills. You're talkin' the talk --and walkin' the walk-- just fine.

Also, it needs to be remembered, there's no one right way to do any of this stuff. As long as your methods help you meet your goals, you're doing what you should be doing, and what others do doesn't matter. Jack Schwager makes that point in his series of books on 'market wizards'. Methods claimed by one wizard to work for him or her are loudly condemned in a later chapter by a different wizard as "useless", and vice versa. Jake Bernstein makes much the same point. "We don't trade markets. We trade our beliefs about markets. Hence, we create our wins and losses, by what we see and don't".

To me, bond investing is just classic, Ben Graham-style, value investing --especially spec-grade investing-- where bets are made about an issuer's credit-worthiness --not just the level and direction of interest-rates-- , and the trick to taking away from markets more money than you bring to them is to keep making small, even-sized bets --good markets and bad-- in a consistent, disciplined manner and to try never to overpay.

Losses are inevitable, and should not try to be avoided. ("Scared to lose is scared to win.") It's stupid losses that have to be minimized. The smart losses --where good due-diligence was done, but prices moved against you anyway-- are just a cost of doing business.

Yeah, books can only teach so much. But they're where we all need to begin, and where we all need to return to from time to time to re-learn the wisdoms we didn't fully understand the first --or second, or tenth-- time through.

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