We all know the term “Picking winners and losers.” We all do it, we all need to do it, but when we do it is what separates informed deduction from the chaff of just plain old luck.
Many times luck is an important variable. Sometimes, it’s even far more responsible for what many assume as prowess regarding business successes and/or other en-devours.
It’s quite acceptable to be “more lucky than smart” as the saying goes. Trust me, I’ve been the benefactor of just that, many times. However, it’s the understanding of such that is the differentiator that becomes a useful tool in helping one make decisions of consequence as you go along through life and business. i.e., You’re less prone to kid-yourself as the idiom goes.
What I describe or use as an example of “pure luck” revolves around the following:
If you’re walking down the street and happen upon a $100 bill. That is what I define as pure unadulterated luck.
However, If you had heard through the grapevine that there was some eccentric unknown rich person once and awhile deliberately dropping $100 bills as they walked as a form of “to them that finds it” charity exercise, where you engage in actively roaming said streets and on the lookout? It’s still luck per se. But, that scenario moves it from a pure luck exercise into the “Intentionally lucky” aspect, if you were to then find one.
In other words: it’s a distinction with a difference. And, the reason why that’s important is the following, for there’s a third aspect to it, also…
If you were the person in the first example (e.g, found by happenstance) and found two $100 bills. That’s pretty lucky, is it not? However, if you are of the latter (i.e., you’re out actively looking) and you’ve only found one, yet, go out everyday hence looking for the next – are you still prone to be as lucky as you think? Or, have you now shifted what for all intents and purposes was originally “intentionally lucky” exercise into wishful thinking?
Think carefully before you answer because, there comes a point where past successes by others get morphed into near benediction type reasoning for why one should continue on the latter example indefinitely. i.e., “Well, someone else found two and they weren’t even looking. With such concentrated effort that I’m now using, that alone ups my odds of finding more exponentially!”
Sure sounds logical, yes?
Yet, we all should know from common sense: this is pure magical and fanciful type silliness. Why? Easy…
It could all be part of practical joke, ruse (think reality TV et. al.) or, even if true, the benevolent bill-dropper could simply either run out of money or been dropping someone else’s money for malevolent purposes or, now be dead. No one would know.
Yet, much like “lottery players,” I’ll garner there would be far more than one thinks forever stalking that same route, for who knows how long. Why? Sounds a lot like: “Today is going to be that lucky day!” Maybe, but it’s far more likely – it will not.
See the difference? (And, for those that put together the underlying message in relation to the Fed, you’re far more ahead of most than you may realize.)
So, why did I lay out all the above? Well, it sort of came into play as I was talking to someone over the holiday, where they decided they wanted to know my thoughts on “The Markets.”
As always (which is why I try to stay clear of the subject of late) every-time I gave some example of why there should be extreme caution regarding them (markets) – they would ramble off some diatribe currently being touted across the mainstream financial/business media as reasons why I’m not just of a different viewpoint, rather: “You’re just f’ng wrong and won’t admit it!”
It’s now become so commonplace it’s laughable. However, when I do offer a rebuttal, is where I then turn around and leave them in what appears to be a state much like scene from a sci-fi movie right before the person’s head explodes.
Here’s what I said in response, for those that may want to know…
Me: “You seem to be picking where and what you want to represent as ‘winning.’ That works for the uninformed that watch the financial channels – not for those that know a little bit more about what is actually taking place. For if all this ‘fantastic’ was as true as you say, then please tell me why is it that the “markets” are now up going on 15% since January – and – Apple™ has only been able to get back to break even for the year as of last week, never mind back to its highs?”
“Why is it that Bitcoin™ is being touted as ‘on fire!’ when it goes up some five or six percent in any given session of late – yet – is still down 50% from its prior highs?”
“Oh, and don’t forget – when they were both at all time highs, both were being used as the reasons why the “markets,” back then, were ‘On fire!’ So, when you can give me a reasoned explanation for that, I’ll be glad to hear it. And, by the way, just so you’re aware, you will not have heard one from any of the media outlets you’ve been touting as basis for your reasoning. The reason why I know, is I have yet to hear one. After all, they won’t quote people like myself any longer. (Then I bent in and whispered…) Remember: Snake oil purveyors can never tell the real formulation. It’s not good for business. And it’s all snake oil now, all the time. Buy, buy, buy!”
“Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a hamburg to get to. Nice talking to you. Happy 4th!”
© 2021 Mark St.Cyr