Regarding the earlier post Donald Trump Does Not Like to Read (but so what) regarding if I am really as good at predicting stuff as I claim to be, and if so, why I’m not more successful.
Since 2013 or so, I’ve made 20 predictions (including stock picks), and a 90% success rate means 18 are correct. The odds of that by chance are about 1/5,000. The odds are actually higher because the outcomes of many of these predictions are correlated. So why am I not on the Forbes 400 then? The odds of being on the Forbes 400 list is 1/17,500,000.
Am I that good at predicting and investing? Yes, but it’s not necessarily because I’m that that good, but because so many other strategies are so poor. A person who merely invests in the S&P 500 beats 90-95% of fund managers, so it’s not like what I am doing is that special, but rather everyone else is so bad. It’s like a footrace where your opponents are shackled to ball and chains; they can remove the chain anytime they wish, but choose not to, so because so many people are intentionally or willingly encumbered by the weight of their ignorance, I can win despite not being that much superior athletically. How hard is it to buy and hold the S&P 500, or better yet, the Nasdaq 100 ETF QQQ? But doing that makes you a ‘market genius’ by comparison when everyone else is trying these awful strategies that don’t work, while paying huge fees.
Just following the HBD-investing thesis will put you ahead of 99% of all active management, but also understanding HBD and how it affects the performance and wealth of nations, is also an advantage. This is stuff anyone can learn through reading this site and others resources. If you invest in high-IQ companies, high-IQ countries, but specifically, high-IQ companies that have market dominance and strong profits & earnings, this whittles down the investing universe of dozens of countries and thousands of stocks to just one or two countries (China and America) and maybe a couple dozen stock picks, such as MasterCard, Visa, Google, Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft, etc. This mean avoiding low-IQ sectors such as energy, construction, mining, and drilling, and staying away from emerging markets.
It’s almost common sense: would you rather invest in the best and the brightest, or only the ‘average’. Then you add ‘market dominance’ and ‘wide moats’ to the equation, and it’s even better. This means you’re not speculating on unknown stuff, but rather companies that dominate their perspective niches, have ubiquity, and have high barriers to entry.
Understanding how the economy works is not that hard either: it’s driven by consumption, production, and innovation. Understanding how reserve currency status work or how the fed works isn’t hard either. Understanding empirical evidence is not hard. If the media is wrong the vast majority of the time, if 99% of what the media calls a crisis is not a crisis, a good heuristic is to err on the side of there not being a crisis.
One argument is that Vox Day, mentioned in the post, is not a reputable source of economic advice. But on the other political extreme, in 2012 Paul Krugman (who has a Nobel Prize in economics, so it does not get any more ‘reputable’ than that) published the book End This Depression Now!, but by every metric the economy never entered recession, let alone depression, despite austerity by the GOP-controlled House, so he and his book were wrong too. Between 2009-2012, many reputable economists and forecasters published books arguing that the Great Recession would be the start of some new ‘paradigm shift’ in terms of lower asset prices, America ceding power to foreign nations, less greed, and more overall ‘sobriety’. None of those things happened. The Dow Jow Industrial Average peaked at 14,000 in 2007; now it’s at 23,000! America under Trump is more powerful and relevant than ever. The left in 2016 predicted Trump winning would hurt foreign relations and cause all sorts of diplomatic problems; a year later, nothing happened. Germany–United States relations, China–United States relations are still strong, and relations with China have actually strengthened under Trump. The very fact that rich, smart foreigners want to come to America to study, invest, and create companies despite the left’s insistence of how bad, ‘racist’, and evil America and Trump are, is further evidence of how divorced from reality the left’s narratives are.