Not taking advice

From the concluding chapter of Free Capital:

 “A consensus of expert opinion is often not useful in finance, because of its self-negating property: if something is widely anticipated, it is already in the price. But the investors’ antipathy towards the concept of taking advice sometimes seemed to go beyond recognition of this point. John expressed the view that “authorised investment advice is a bit of a con”; Sushil said that he placed “almost no reliance on advisors”; Peter remarked that a small company where the management relied heavily on advisors displayed “a typical big-company mentality” (which was not a compliment).” 

 I’ve written a longer article developing this idea…

 On The Value of Not Taking Advice

 SUMMARY Conventional wisdom commonly exhorts non-experts to take expert advice when dealing with specialist fields. This works well in relation to the physical or biological world, because theories of these worlds are generally neutral: popular acceptance of a theory does not change the phenomena it describes.  In contrast, theories of social phenomena such as finance are often reflexive: popular acceptance of a theory does change the phenomena it describes.  Reflexive theories can be either self-fulfilling or self-negating.  Advice based on self-negating theories is not likely to be useful.  Expert advice is therefore less useful in fields such as investment, which are dominated by self-negating theories.  Full article here

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