Talent v no talent
I wrote an article a while back about how my industry is full of charlatans (and that may be a little too kind). This author articulates the same point. He talks about a ten minute video being sent to him of people predicting a crash "within the next 12 months". Along with the sentence "these guys are really smart. They know what they are talking about".
He goes on to write..."It got me thinking about how little talent it takes to make an exhaustive list of all the negatives and things that could go wrong, and then pass the whole pile off as though it’s profound. It is not profound."
The market will crash. It crashes regularly (there have been 14 falls of around 20% or more since the end of the second world war, which works out at one every five years). It really doesn't take a genius to know that. When it is going to crash is the tricky bit - no one actually knows that. These people that are constantly predicting a crash know that they will be right eventually. And then everyone will think they are a genius. It's infuriating really.
So, if predicting a crisis doesn't take any talent then what DOES take talent?
Josh Brown lists a few things:
How about in helping people make sense of all the scary things and see them in context, as opposed to through the lens of the clickbait economy?
How about in designing and managing portfolios that offer an answer to multitudes of potential outcomes, not just the one that your gut instincts tell you is the most likely at any given moment?
How about in managing your own behavior and the behavior of the people who’ve entrusted their futures to you?
How about in remaining diversified when every atom of your being tells you that there’s one asset class offering a sure-fire way to get rich right now?
How about in controlling your emotional responses when things go awry and people tell you you’re a fool for believing that tomorrow will be better than today?
That’s where the talent is, not in making scatological lists of newspaper headlines and things to be terrified of.
I couldn't agree more.