I am a free range chicken in these columns. I hunt and peck through the woods and the trash… looking for worms as well as chicken feed.
Now wiggling its way through our thoughts is an idea: that scale and distance are the enemies of honesty, authenticity, and a life well lived. Things too far away… too abstract… or too big cannot be judged properly. Abstractions, myths, “public knowledge” – they are all phony or unknowable. And often dangerous.
This is most obvious in the world of business and investments. If someone suggests a business because “there are more people getting old,” or because “people are not driving as much,” or because “temperatures are rising,” watch out. That
kind of thinking is incompatible with good business.
Particulars Over Abstractions
What counts are the particulars, not the abstractions. You need a good product… a good strategy… and a good marketing channel. These are specific things, not vague generalities. And you need to make sure that for every 100 pennies you spend, you get at least 101 pennies in return. The rest is claptrap.
“What everybody knows” is even more dangerous in the investment
world. In the business world, it is merely insufficient… but in the investment world, it is deadly. There’s an old saying on Wall Street, “When everyone is thinking the same thing, no one is really thinking.”
Since founding Agora Inc. in 1979, Bill Bonner has found success in numerous industries. His unique writing style, philanthropic undertakings and preservationist activities have been recognized by some of America's most respected authorities. He co-founded The Daily Reckoning in 1999, and has since written many New York Times best-selling books including Financial Reckoning Day and Empire of Debt. He currently contributes to a long list of publications including The Bill Bonner Letter and Bill Bonner’s Diary.
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