The Value of Opposing Viewpoints
Perhaps the biggest advantage to talking tickers on Twitter & Commonstock is opening yourself up to criticism and engaging in constructive disagreement. There have been several times I have bought into the hype of an investment, a recent example being quantum computing. I was hoping my choice would be the next Apple, ‘the wave of the future’. I admittedly was not well informed on the concept, and in hindsight should have avoided it entirely. I likely would have held firm in my assumptions, had it not been for a skeptic Twitter voice (thanks @latinmines) who was kind enough to provide me with a study that disproved several of my talking points. Recently I have become overconfident and perhaps overly vocal about my lithium returns. The market has been known to give a dose of humility when one needs it, and someone very knowledgeable and experienced reminded me why I should exercise caution, and not be so exuberant (thanks @michaelbhorner).
The biggest disservice you can do to yourself as an investor is to live in an echo chamber. It’s so important to continually question your thesis and listen to those with opposing views. Sometimes they will succeed in changing your mind, and occasionally they serve to strengthen your conviction. As this University of Maryland research concludes, ‘agreement may spark premature consensus, whereas disagreement causes all parties involved to express ideas, opinions, concerns, etc., that may ultimately lead the team to consider better options.’ There may be comfort in agreement, but would you prefer comfort or better performance? I know which choice I would make, but then again someone might prove me wrong. I welcome the opportunity to listen to their viewpoints.
That’s why I can’t stand when groups (families or coworkers) tell me, “we don’t talk about politics, religion, this, or that. That’s what was great about college, having your thinking challenged and your ideology examined. Nothing wrong with big boy/girl conversations as long as everyone is respectable.
Over confidence is something that’s a constant concern for me though. If there’s numbers involved, I think I can beat it. From card counting to sports betting, and now a decade of investing, I love the challenge of trying to find the secrets to success through reading the masters. Going a couple years feeling like everything you touch turns to gold makes it rough sometimes🤣
@wall_street_deebo Excellent points about how this relates to life beyond investing. If we could all engage in respectful debate, the world would be better off in a multitude of ways. Admittedly when I first signed up for Twitter, I found it hard to listen to those strongly opposed to my views. Over time it's only served to make me a better person, and I hope it continues to do so.
As for confidence, I have heard the phrase "everyone is a genius in a bull market" countless times, and that's probably lithium's effect on me. It really wasn't hard to make a bad choice with the run it's had. That day will end soon enough, and I need to ensure I am holding quality.
Thanks for the great insight!