Sunday, October 08, 2006

Stick to Your Guns

"It is dangerous to be right in matters on which the established authorities are wrong."

I am currently reading Hedgehogging by Barton Biggs, and a story he told made me think of this quote by the great French author and philosopher, Voltaire. During the height of the tech craze in 1999, Biggs had become gravely concerned about the astronomical valuations in stocks and felt a crash was imminent. So much so that he voiced his concerns to investors and debated tech "gurus" at conferences, only to be ridiculed by his opponents, pundits, gurus and the audiences he lectured. In fact, even his peers at Morgan Stanley were whispering that he had "lost it". Things got so bad that he started to doubt himself. Luckily he stuck to his guns. Four months later the market did exactly what he predicted.

So the next time you are sure that the investing community is dead wrong, think back to Barton Biggs and take the ridicule. Hurt feeling are better than a wallet that's hurting.

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