Capt. Spaulding spent 35 years in the research vineyards of Wall Street, primarily as a financial writer and editor specializing in economics, equities, and technical analysis. During that time, he learned that several adages are well worth keeping in mind. One is, don't buy it if you don't understand it. Another: numbers can, and often do, lie. A third: if something seems too good to be true, it is. And for good measure: don't fight the tape, especially on the downside. Capt. Spaulding is retired, and enjoys the challenge of trying to keep his head while those around him are losing theirs.