Thursday, April 26, 2012
Do you want to be average?
No of course not! Everyone wants to be special. Everyone thinks they are better than average. But if everyone cannot be better than average how do you achieve something extraordinary if in all likelihood most of us will remain within a sigma or so of the mean? I am a computer programmer by trade and while I am smart (here comes the "I am better than average" bias) I am not going to be in the top tier without ruining my life and even then after deluding myself I will likely burn out. I can already hear the brain-washed by educational institutions go-getters disagree. You are choosing failure they say. You are laughable. Now hold on a second. There are clever ways to outsmart the herd playing musical chairs if you run off on a lonesome tangent. Lonesome tangent doesn't sound like a place anyone would want to go, but try telling that to Columbus if you could. The tangent for me is to seek out solutions to investment problems using my brain detached from the herd. An investment problem for me is how do I move used furniture to put into rental condos at the lowest possible cost. The in-the-box thinking is to follow the advice of your friendly know-it-all co-worker at the water cooler. He will tell you to move furniture you need a nice truck like the F-150 with a big bed. His motivation beside pure ignorance lays partly in not wanting to stand out as being poor or plain stupid. While my net worth would in the short term allow me to purchase more than one of these F-150 trucks if I followed that path my financial independence goals would evaporate. Furniture for rentals weighs anywhere from 50 to a few hundred pounds and I use my 2001 VW Golf to tow a 5x8 wire mesh trailer which I purchased on a super sale at Lowe's for $450. The occasional looks I get? Priceless. Perhaps more than intelligence (although you may or may not be surprised by how many people do not understand basic physics) it is your ability to withstand social pressure and the often innate desire to fit in which of course leads to not standing out and being just within a sigma of the mean!