This is one of the most important investment lessons I have come across in different business or finance contexts. If you want to make higher than average returns, you have to be contrarian and open to be wrong very frequently.
If you only do what is normal in your industry or profession, you will get the results everybody is getting: average results. Getting high performance results require going against the conventional wisdom.
* The only valuable things are the worthless things. The things that seem valuable to everyone are actually less valuable because their value is amplified via mimetic feedback loops. The things that seem worthless are actually where the real value is.
Betting on "worthless" things is not as bad as you think. Being uniquely wrong protects you from the downside risk, because everybody thought you were crazy anyways, so the failure was already priced in. However, if you are right, that means you will have massively compounding returns.
This advice is extremely difficult to execute. It requires thinking independently. It requires having a diversity of cognitive perspective relative to everybody else you are competing against. It requires emotional maturity to accept that you will be wrong most of the time, but you only need to be right once anyways.
Quotes on being contrarian
Most people can't take risks either due to a high cost of living, risk averseness, family responsibilities or cultural biases. However, * The world is driven by tail events and high returns come from risky bets which require getting used to repeated failures. * To make higher than average returns, embrace being uniquely wrong.
There is also an argument to be made about contrarian investing here. There is nothing contrarian about investing in real estate, and we know that * To make higher than average returns, embrace being uniquely wrong.