Most of the stuff you believe in is wrong. But you’ll never realize it. Instead you’ll find new mostly-wrong things to believe in, and you’ll barely even be able to remember believing the stuff you used to believe.
— Noah Smith 🐇 (@Noahpinion) November 5, 2021
Acknowledging that you are wrong is a superpower. Even considering the idea that you are wrong is powerful. This is especially the case in the financial markets where we are constantly bombarded with new, potentially contradictory information. Some of this viewpoint has to do with getting older and having been proven wrong plenty of times.
The older I get,
the less certainty I have about most things,
and the less regard I have
for people evincing certainty
about almost anything.
— Moses Kagan (@moseskagan) November 2, 2021
One need not look far for things that contradict your world view. Skim through the news from a year ago and you will see plenty of things you thought were important but ultimately you have long since forgotten. This isn’t always fun, but the more we can exercise this muscle the better. Let me leave you with some thoughts from Barry Ritholtz at the Big Picture on why we should be humble in the face of our collective ignorance.
It is truly astonishing how many of the things we take for granted are simply untrue. Much of our investment beliefs (indeed, our lives) are based on thinking things that turn out to be either unproven or outright false. That should be very humbling to anyone in this business.
Acknowledging that we are all just stumbling around the dark may help you from stubbing your toe.