Years ago, I read somewhere (maybe it was in that scholarly journal Readers Digest) that a dean at Johns Hopkins Medical School welcomed an incoming class of would-be doctors by telling them: “Over the next four years, half of everything we teach you will be wrong; we just don’t know which half.”

I don’t know whether that story is true, but it’s always seemed to me to be a pretty good guideline for life in general, and it’s given me a healthy skepticism in my coverage of financial services. It’s helped me to focus on the facts, not the hype, and put less importance on what people say (no matter who they are), and more importance on why they are saying it.