Ever wanted to buy a car that you thought was rare. Only to find out that once you bought it, all the sudden you see them everywhere. Saying to yourself “dang where did all of these same cars come from? You’re not alone. This has happened to me more times than I can count with everything from cars, clothes and honeymoon destinations. There have been several instances I have experienced a thought that feels special and it turns out it is a common thought amongst others.
This very concept of (what you see is all you see) is law, in the investment world. If you see something, then everyone sees that very same thing. To go against the consensus is to go against your very thoughts and opinions. Literally I have said, “this is asinine to go bullish right now. Look how overbought we are.” Every Indicator I use is screaming to keep going long. I want to be cautious though. My fears seep in and I take a neutral stance. The market keeps rising, sound familiar?
Learning my lessons from this and realizing that my own thoughts can create a significant argument of self-serving bias I have to remain objectively skeptical of my own views. Many times, in the past I ran into the, “look at all the reasons to be bearish right now”. Only to review my trades later and go “Look at all the reasons to go bullish that I missed”. This is the same as the car scenario. Those cars have always been there. I just failed to see them because they weren’t part of my reality.
It is said that when you begin to look for something you will start to “attract” it in your everyday life. I have found this a common thread in the personal development literature out there. What I believe is that the very thing you want and think of just shifts your perspective. Its easy to see anything once you are looking for it and know where to look for it, like Where’s Waldo. Ever notice while looking for him that everyone is wearing that freaking striped hat. Seriously, look at the picture for this post. Now, let’s change perspectives and look for how many people are wearing regular hats or no hats. The difference is that you were looking for what you wanted to find. How long did it take to see the giant man hiding in the middle of the picture, the witch or the knight?
Enough with the mind experiments. The point is, that I have found it useful to expose myself to other people that look at investments and the markets differently so that I may see what they see. This allows me to move move my perspective above all our perspectives combined. This has helped tremendously, for increasing returns and decreasing volatility in my subjective trades. At Blackpier Capital we have taken this step further and paired fundamentally different strategies together. Just like seeing something from a different perspective. One position will win big while the other loses small and together over time they all win, with less risk.