Betting against the herd turned out to be the smarter strategy in 2008, at the height of the financial crisis. But being right about the housing bubble was not enough.
The first economists called the bubble in 2002. Putting your money on that bet in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, or 2007 would have cost you. Timing was everything.
Some long-term investors are betting that green technologies will fuel the future; yet for now, oil companies are making record profits.
Sea levels may be on the rise; yet for now, beachfront properties fetch exorbitant prices.
It’s generally much more comforting to follow everyone else—potentially even into the abyss—than to leave the herd and run the risks of being picked off by a predator.
As long as the music is playing, you’ve got to get up and dance. Feel free to stop dancing when everyone else is going strong. But if you really want to make the planet notice, you’ve got to try to change the beat for everyone.