When an unpredicted event occurs, we immediately adjust our view of the world to accommodate the surprise.
A general limitation of the human mind is, its imperfect ability to reconstruct past states of knowledge, or beliefs that have changed. Once you adopt a new view of the world (or of any part of it), you immediately lose much of your ability to recall what you used to believe before your mind changed.
Business – When businesses running well then businessman start thinking that business is always going to do well and they start making huge Capex for it. Or they feel that a strong business environment will remain to continue and business has more value creation left (top of the cycle) so they will announce a buyback. Such things happen especially with cyclical businesses.
Investment – When we keep evolving with the new process, philosophy to invest then we start replacing it with an older one which helps us to make the best of ourselves. But with it, we should not forget good things about the previous process, mistakes made by us in an older process because these all help us to keep evolving over some time. We should document our learning over a period so that we can evolve in a better way by retaining our previous learning. We have seen the evolution of Legendary investor Mr Buffett, who has evolved from ciggarbutt to moat investing but still he has not forgotten his learning from a past strategy.
When we look back then past events look very obvious to us. But that was not as obvious as it looks now. People who know hindsight bias, also fall under the trap of it. So, the author has suggested us a way to handle it.
When we read any history book then feel that events that occurred were so obvious but living those moments are much difficult.
Business – If any businessman achieved success then he will look back in past and rate his probability of success much higher.
Investment – In 2007, everyone talks about the great growth potential of the economy and in 2017 also, post GST we will have a strong economy, we will post stronger economic growth. But when we look back to 2008 and recent GDP falls. It looks obvious to us.
So, when we have maintained records of our observations and decisions then we can track the quality of our decisions. We can look back on our decision and on what basis, we have taken a decision.
We work on interpret information as being part of a larger story or pattern, regardless of whether the facts support or not. We want our lives to form a pattern that we can easily follow. It is clear that people first used stories to explain the world before they began to think scientifically. Making mythology older than philosophy. This has led to the story bias.
Business – Good storytellers know that including specific details is essential to capturing the listener’s imagination and making a story believable. So that businessman uses this bias to build a story around the products/services which can easily attract huge customers. When any good story about any product getting circulated then people are more likely to listen, empathise and act.
Investment – We are getting attracted by stories and those stories getting sold everywhere. We get to know about the story of any company and that attracts us, we invest rather checking that does these stories has any truth or not? If it is true then also, does it make sense at the current level of the price? When there is a success of any company, we get many stories on it. So that when any rosy story comes to us, we should check it thoroughly without any biases in mind with searching for disconfirming evidence. I always quote that “Stories are for kids, not for investors.”
We have heard No Pain No Gain concept everywhere but it is not always suitable for all situation. When we do a workout then we keep getting pain due to training of different muscles. But if we do a workout in a wrong posture then we get pain without gain for a lifetime.
When we go for so-called advisors then they do not have any knowledge of problem or solutions but also they suggest a solution for a particular problem. They also suggest that things can worsen before it will get better. Without the availability of proper solution, things will be going to worst and we believe that it has happened as an advisor has warned. And if things get better suddenly, advisors say that it’s because of my solution. So, both the side he will win.
Investment – I have met many people who used to predict market direction, they always quote that market seems dicey and can fall but also seems little chance to go up. So, either market fall or rise, the prediction proved right. We have to be careful while asking for a piece of advice. We should check the process, experience, knowledge first before the implementation of their bits of advice.
When any company making huge Capex then management tell us that we have to take short-term pain for getting better in a longer-term. It is true and management must have to take such a bet. But we have to check that does the company has the potential to grow in future? Does it have a strong balance sheet to take short-term pain? (If not then that short-term pain can become a disease for a lifetime.) So that we always have to make proper study before reaching to any of the conclusion. We have to develop a proper checklist which can tell us if we are missing any part to study or filter out a distraction from us.