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A Working Definition of “Greed”

A Working Definition of “Greed”

After messing around in the crypto-trading world for a few weeks, I’ve begun to emotionally grasp the truth behind the phrase “scared money don’t make money.”

One of the more curious bits of advice you’ll hear from traders is to “not be greedy”… odd, of course, because the entire point is to make money. But there is a certain class of (mostly new) traders who — upon seeing the candles start to drop suddenly — panic sell. They are driven by fear and desire, buying in when they know they shouldn’t and selling even when they know they should hold fast. These people controlled by their emotions, and because of their desire for money (or fear of losing it), they end of making less.

I think as a working definition of “greed,” this phenomenon is a pretty nifty conceptual summary.

Greed: A compulsion for gain that overcomes one’s own self-interest — even for gain.

To be honest, I had always struggled with the assumption that “greed” — as in “desire for gain” — was bad. Who doesn’t want money? Why is it bad to desire?

Even from a philanthropic perspective, you can’t help others if you don’t have anything to give. To give, you must first have. To have, you must first want.

It was never totally clear why “selfishness” — as in having a healthy primary concern for one’s own interests — is considered distasteful in the first place.

But when that compulsion gets in the way of those interests themselves — when fear and desire actually prevent you from getting what you desire, or bring about exactly what it is that you fear… this seems like a good working definition of what people mean when they say “don’t be greedy.”

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