Many experts believe that investment extremes are difficult to recognize.
For example, the former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan famously said in a speech on March 30, 2002, "It was very difficult to definitively identify a bubble until after the fact--that is, when its bursting confirmed its existence."
With all due respect to the former Fed chairman, I strongly disagree. Financial bubbles are easy to spot. What is hard is to emotionally accept their existence. The fact is, we humans are flawed. (Okay, not Beyoncé, but everyone else.) We have trouble understanding complexity. We don't grasp statistical concepts very well. We prefer stories to facts.
Fortunately, understanding these weaknesses can help you to recognize them in yourself.
From Debt Cycle Investing
by Gary Gordon
I had returned from my second tour of Bangladesh, which had lasted five years. I was running Grameen Foundation, an organization that I had founded a few years earlier to advance the humanitarian ideals of Muhammad Yunus, the iconic Bangladeshi social entrepreneur, which I'd adopted as my own. On the surface, things were going well. But just below the surface, trouble was building fast.
I had the job of my dreams, but I was often a bundle of nerves. I was driving my employees and family crazy, and I had virtually no interests beyond my work. I'd been successful at raising more money than ever before, but I was also feeling increasingly insecure and anxious.
I realized it was past time for me to turn things around.
From Changing the World Without Losing Your Mind: Leadership Lessons from Three Decades
of Social Entrepreneurship by Alex Counts
The more you push for progressive change, the more entrenched power pushes back.
This fact has formed the context of my life in politics.
I encountered the same dynamic as a student activist at Howard University in the 1960s and as an inner-city physician in Los Angeles, California, in the 1970s and 1980s before returning home to Bermuda to enter electoral politics. Indeed, this is the situation of would-be change agents everywhere, not least of all in the Black diaspora throughout the Americas.
Still wealthy and powerful, the White establishment clings to its old ways behind a facade of change. It exemplifies the regressive forces Frederick Douglass described when he said, “If there is no struggle, there is no progress. . . . Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.”
From Whom Shall I Fear? Pushing the
Politics of Change by Ewart F. Brown, M.D.