Expectations Move Slower Than Facts
Accidents and chance push the world in ways that are impossible to predict. One damned thing after another. Sometimes those changes happen literally overnight. So what happens when the world lurches but opinions lag?
Capital Thinking · Issue #959 · View online
It’s a rare person who wants to hear what he doesn’t want to hear.
It Sounds Crazy
Morgan Housel | Collaborative Fund Blog:
A big part of almost every story in history is that expectations move slower than facts. People become vested in their views of how the world works.
But the world can work one way for a long time and then … boom … abruptly lurch in a new direction. Opinions crawl while events leap. It’s a tricky little thing.
In the 1960s, before he was old, Warren Buffett joked of taking advice from old investors. “They know too many things that are no longer true,” he said.
The strongest opinions form when a trend persists for years or decades, and a narrative of “this is just how things work” is the path of least resistance.
It gets reinforced when that narrative becomes part of your identity – where you work, or how you invest your money, or who you hang out with and discuss what’s true.
But things change.
Technologies become obsolete and markets exploit opportunities and people get bored with what used to excite them. Regulations change. Generations evolve.
Accidents and chance push the world in ways that are impossible to predict. One damned thing after another. Sometimes those changes happen literally overnight.
So what happens when the world lurches but opinions lag?
You get situations where what’s true sounds crazy because people’s beliefs haven’t caught up with reality.
A few examples: