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What does it mean to ‘catch a falling knife’?

Catching a falling knife is a metaphor used to describe the act of buying a declining stock in the hope of turning a profit. It is often considered a risky move because the stock price may continue to fall, resulting in a loss for the investor.

Imagine a person holding a knife in their hand. If the knife were to slip and fall, it would be very dangerous to try to catch it. The knife is moving quickly and erratically, making it difficult to predict its trajectory. Similarly, when a stock is in decline, it can be difficult to predict where it will bottom out and start to rise again. Buying a falling stock is like trying to catch a falling knife – it is a risky move that can result in significant losses.

Investors who are willing to take on this risk may do so in the hope of buying the stock at a low price and then selling it once it starts to recover. This is known as buying on the dip. However, there is no guarantee that the stock will recover, and the investor could end up holding onto the stock for a long time or even losing their entire investment.

In order to minimise the risk of catching a falling knife, some investors may use a technique called dollar-cost averaging. This involves buying the stock in small increments over a period of time, rather than buying a large amount all at once. This can help to reduce the overall risk of the investment and potentially smooth out any potential losses.

Overall, catching a falling knife is a risky endeavour that should be approached with caution. It is important for investors to carefully assess the potential risks and rewards before making any investment decisions.

“It’s not supposed to be easy. Anyone who finds it easy is stupid.” – Charlie Munger

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