Much success can be attributed to inactivity. Most investors cannot resist the temptation to constantly buy and sell.
I bought Worldcom stock when it was $.08/share and sold when it hit $.06/share within a few months it went back up to $0.22/share before falling to worthless. Learned my lesson early.
Bought Ericsson stock a few days before it did it's reverse split in early 2000s and made a 100% gain. Figured I was some prodigy child of a new wave of investing, proceeded to play pennies and lost and won, lost and won, then lost big enough that I stopped. Came back in 2005 with WebMD and some other stocks, did a more conservative type of investing, but mostly still some speculation based around quarterly reports. Did ok, but I wanted more than just 12% gains followed by 10% losses. Picking consistent winners was hard.
I was fortunate to have had a friends who told me to watch silver and gold once the Iraq War started. I did. Finally in 2006 I sat down, did tons of research on historical trends and historical ratios, things like population vs. GDP, demographic makeup of industries, Dow-Gold ratio, government policies vs. monetary cash flows, etc. I figured out how and what causes bubbles and what to invest in when the bubbles popped. I bought gold in September of 2007. When 2008 came around it was free money for those of us that knew how to do FAZ and other inverse ETFs. The options traders were really raking in the dough, though. I bought silver in December 2008. More gold and silver in mid 2009, and even some oil during the spill when it was getting beat.
The key here was that I was using my revenue stream (AKA job) to convert USD into things that did better than USD. That could be stocks, commodities anything, but at the time, the best investment according to all the research I was doing seemed (and continues) to be commodities.
I found Bitcoin in fall 2009, giving up on it quickly when I realized it wasn't money or convertible into money. Now sure, a few people had speculated it could become money, but nothing was in place for that to actually happen, so it just seemed like a game Satoshi was playing, and I was going to have to burn power on my CPU to participate. That was stupid, so I stopped and didn't rediscover it again till the Wikileaks donation thing came up.
I bought Bitcoin early on as it fell from a "stuck" $1.07 to $0.69, averaging out then at $0.85. I suppose in hindsight I should have sold at $32, or even $20, or even $10, maybe here in a few months I'll be saying I should have sold at $5, $2, $1. But that'd be the short-term version of me. I don't care that it falls to $1 for the same reason I didn't care when it went to $32.
Something to note:https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/History
See that huge gap in the history between January 11, 2009 and December 16, 2009?
Bitcoins were mined during that time. Sure, I might have mined 100 coins that were lost when I reformatted, but not everyone did the same, and I suspect we're talking hundreds of thousands, if not millions, that have been and probably are being sold still today. While the name of Satoshi has been expired, the person he represents is still here today.
To my knowledge, MagicalTux and the Tradehill owners have never disclosed publicly what they do with the Bitcoins they take in as fees, but conventional wisdom would actually say they sell it to cover costs.
Pool owners, to my knowledge, Deepbit, slush, and BTCGuild have not disclosed what their polices are, either, but if you don't think they are selling to cover fees, you'd be mistaken.
In short, all the major players have not stated their policies on what they are doing with the BTC they make from you, so we shouldn't assume they are holding onto it. They clearly aren't.
So why tell you all this about myself and then all this about the big players? Because I only have hundreds of BTC, there are literally guys with thousands and thousands of it that got in a lot sooner than the rest of you, and if you noticed, a huge number of them stopped posting or are making money off of all the newcomers. This is a great thing because they are bringing services to the table, but don't forget, you are the customer to them, they rely on you to continue to invest in Bitcoin so they can sell it to support their lifestyles.
We should (at the very least) be demanding that the exchanges and pool owners publicly disclose their selling of BTC. And they should probably pay for independent Bitcoin services to audit them for this.