Leandro's avatar
$134.2m follower assets
The Tribal Gene and How It Undermines Investment Results
I came across the following explanation of what makes a long term investor different and found it pretty interesting.


I personally think I don't have the tribal gene when it comes to thinking long term. What about you?
Eric Messenger's avatar
That makes perfect sense. I am usually coming to my own thesis that happens to be contradictory to the crowds opinion. Plenty told me not to buy Netflix and retail; all the best performing stocks in my portfolio currently. It happens constantly.

It I’m also not tribal, and think the tribalism has gotten to epic proportions, in terms of politics. The more tribal it gets, the more I’m turned off by both parties.

I like the Cowboys, but I don’t spit at Eagles fans.

So in every area of life where triballism exists, I naturally did not fall into it. I agree with their opinion that my lack of tribalism is one of the reasons for outperformance. I have always looked for what made it come so natural. I always thought it was growing up dirt poor, having no attachment to money, that I lacked fear/conservative nature that would make me seek the safety of the herd. Maybe it’s more related to tribalism🤷‍♂️


Cole's avatar
Smells a bit like BS. Off-the-cuff linking contrarian tendencies to genetics seems like jumping the gun. Might as well call it a mindset.

Not sure what Giverny Capital is hoping to achieve by calling it a gene. Maybe to imply their superiority? Again, weird.

Interesting read. Thanks for sharing.
Leandro's avatar
@laststock they are just using the word gene to explain it. I don’t believe they think it’s a real gene but more so the ability of some people to tune off the noise

They surely demonstrate their superiority with performance (+15% CAGR over 30 years)
Cole's avatar
@invesquotes that’s a good record, for sure! You’re right, they may not mean it literally “a tribalism gene”. I’m just annoyed at how the argument being made is couched in language tied to nature vs nurture trigger phrases like “survival instinct” and “genetic code”. Whomever wrote the thing must’ve known what they were doing when they wrote it—this kind of language encourages the reader to subconsciously identify with the “in group” (in this case, folks without the ‘gene’) because nobody wants to be implied as genetically inferior. 🙅🏻‍♂️ It’s more manipulative than I’m comfortable with.

Then again, I could just be a paranoid writer who has read an unholy amount of product-pitching newsletters recently. All this marketing stuff is making my eyes fall out. 🫣 🤪

Good for Giverny for doing so well. And I’m willing to consider the actual point being made: contrarian folks have an investing advantage. 🤔

Vincent Poy's avatar
I wouldn't say it's a tribal gene but more of the risk the person is willing to take. Let's look at Buffett and Gates who have basically been the wealthiest for the last few decades but out of nowhere comes Musk and Bezos because both of them would take extreme risks with their resources that others don't and eventually got ahead of Buffett and Gates in Networth, even though it can go the other way. I lose money everytime someone who is a expert told me to buy something but if you look at my portfolio, the things I picked on my own with only 2-3 minutes of research all made significant gains from the mid 3 digit-mid 5 digit % gains.
Leandro's avatar
@almighty188 for every Elon and Bezos there are millions of broke people so risk is important in the equation tbh
Vincent Poy's avatar
@invesquotes - Yep, since not sure if this is true or not but when you buy something, you are hoping it goes up like crazy while the person selling is hoping that you will lose, the more the better so risk and luck has to do with it too since you really have to buy at the correct time as I will say everytime I buy, it always goes down 10-20% first before it even goes up to my original cost and sometimes it even repeats that downward motion for months.
Brian Stoffel's avatar
This is brilliant. Personally, I use "Mismatch Theory" as my first lens for understand any problem in society.

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