Richard Young has told me more times than I can remember, “Survival Guy, 9 out of 10 ideas are worthless. And investing is as much, if not more, about art than science.” In my experience, that has all proved to be true. Andy Kessler writes in The Wall Street Journal:
Then Mr. Andreessen says, “I had heard of this, aha, Sturgeon’s law!” Theodore Sturgeon (1918-85) was a science-fiction author annoyed that people were saying all sci-fi was bad and wanted to stand up for the 10% that was good, saying, “90% of everything is crap.” Mr. Andreessen says “90% of music is crap.” The same is true of “paintings, writing, TV shows and movies.” I would add ideas, stocks, opinions, politicians—the list goes on.
That is “the nature of creative work. There are only a few people in each field that know what to do,” Mr. Andreessen says. “The reason I’m so fascinated by this is the ethic of our times is egalitarianism. Everybody’s the same, everyone is equal. The conceit of the times, the ethos that if only you put the work in, you’ll get great results”—Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000-hours nonsense. “It’s not just effort. It’s not just accidental. There’s something else going on. In these domains, we have a very small number of people who know what to do. And we have a much larger number of people typically laboring under some set of delusions—generating crap. It is what it is. I wish there were more quality painters . . . or entrepreneurs.”
Action Line: You need to protect your money like it’s the last dollar you’ll earn. FOREVER. If you’re getting the same old, same old from your “professionals,” maybe it’s time you stop following the “science.” If you need help, I would love to talk with you.
E.J. Smith - Your Survival Guy
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