William Shakespeare stole most of his plots.
Take his most famous romantic tragedy, Romeo and Juliet... Shakespeare copied the plot from a poem written by fellow Elizabethan Arthur Brooke around 30 years earlier...
And Brooke's poem was an adaptation of a story published in 1554 by Italian writer Matteo Bandello... who lifted the plot from Luigi da Porto's 1531 story Giulietta e Romeo.
Bandello's version had been especially popular at the time, and many Italian theatre groups converted it into plays. It's likely Brooke – and Shakespeare – saw one of these versions performed in London.
Regardless... Romeo and Juliet is hardly Shakespeare's only literary appropriation.
His King Lear was preceded by King Leir, published anonymously a year earlier. Hamlet was also inspired by another play of the same name.
We don't bring this up to challenge Shakespeare's status as one of the greatest writers in English history. There's a reason your kids aren't reading Brooke's The Tragicall Historye of Romeus and Juliet in school... or why Shakespeare gets all the billing for the 30-plus movies made of Romeo and Juliet. His version is the best.
On the contrary, we mention it because Shakespeare's borrowing is part of his greatness. His ability to identify ideas and themes that would resonate with people across cultures and centuries is critical to what makes his work so timeless.
Authors have been repurposing and rehashing the same tales as far back as Plato, Homer, and the Epic of Gilgamesh.
That's because people haven't changed. Our fears, greed, goals, and motivations have been the same for hundreds of thousands of years. British journalist Christopher Booker famously claimed there are only seven basic plots in the world: overcoming the monster, rags to riches, the quest, voyage and return, comedy, tragedy, and rebirth.
It's the same in the financial world. Business, economics, and investments are all about people doing the things people have always done.
Whether it's a manager trying to earn a bonus, a customer deciding what to buy, or a trader speculating on a big score, nothing happens to your investments that doesn't stem from the way human motivations drive us to make collective decisions.
The economy is made up of millions of individual humans moving as a herd.
That's why, when it comes to stocks and investing, we find ourselves repeating the same themes: Buy quality companies... Buy value... Invest when others are fearful.
We've gotten hundreds of e-mails from our readers who are worried about where the market is headed in 2019...
Is this historic bull market coming to an end?
Or can stocks soar higher from here?
That's why we're pulling out all the stops to bring you some answers... and some peace of mind.
On Wednesday, February 13, some of the most prominent bulls and bears in our industry are sitting down to discuss what you can do to prepare and profit over the next 12 months. You'll hear from our own Dr. Steve Sjuggerud... former hedge-fund manager Whitney Tilson... value investor Dan Ferris... bestselling author Alex Green... and more.
Our host is TradeSmith founder Dr. Richard Smith. Over the past decade, Richard has helped more than 50,000 investors sleep well at night by helping them determine the right time to sell their stocks and lock in maximum profits. We think you'll be blown away by what he has to say.
I'm excited to hear what they're personally doing with their own money.
Here's to our health, wealth, and a great retirement,
Dr. David Eifrig and the Health & Wealth Bulletin Research Team
February 13, 2019