I once had a friend who dreamed of being a stockbroker. As she’d talk, starry-eyed, about following stocks in the newspaper and doing her own buying and selling, I would think, I don’t know another woman who does this. Not one. Instead, most of us who are not entirely risk-averse do what seems like the smart thing: We invest in a high-performing mutual fund on the theory that the hotshot fund manager will do the stock-picking for us.

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