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I was talking recently to a fellow investment enthusiast about an early-stage company quoted on the Alternative Investment Market (part of the London Stock Exchange that allows smaller companies to float shares) that I suspected might have great potential. “What you want to do is buy some and then look away for five years,” I told him. The advice was well-meant but absurd—not because buying would have been a bad idea (it’s too early to tell) but because the chances that, having bought, either of us could resist looking at the share price for the next five years are nil.

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