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I was perusing today's gallery of top-performing stocks on "CNNMoney." Some are well-known, like Wal-Mart ( WMT), McDonalds ( MCD) and the repository of their activity, Waste Management ( WMI). Others, like C.H. Robinson Worldwide ( CHRW), which is a logistics provider, are less intuitive. But scanning the 24 bear baiters, I realized they all had one thing in common.

I don't own any of them.

Not W.R. Berkley ( WRB), the insurance holding company, not Darden Restaurants ( DRI), which brings families together over steaming plates of shrimp and/or fettuccine alfredo at the Red Lobster or the Olive Garden. Not a share of either. Not even Pulte Homes ( PHM), which builds, obviously, homes. I could have bought some at some point, I suppose. But I didn't.

There are two ways to look at this. One is that I'm stupid and should have somebody providing me with sound, reliable investment guidance. While this is quite possibly true, I believe it ignores the real, underlying phenomenon at work here, one that is backed up with ample evidence.

These 24 companies are doing well for the simple reason that I am not invested in them. That's the cause that has produced this happy effect in each and every one of them.

Let's look at the record.

In the early 1990s, I invested in a number of tech companies that had been doing very well indeed. Immediately thereafter, they all went into the tank. I'm not talking weeks later. I'm talking hours later.

Like, I bought a stock, and that afternoon it lost 10% of its value. The next day another 15%. By the end of that week, down 55% and falling.

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