Once upon a time, there was a group of blind men who had never encountered an elephant before. One day, they had the opportunity to touch an elephant and understand what it was.
The first man touched the elephant’s trunk and exclaimed, “It’s like a giant snake!”
The second man touched the elephant’s ear and said, “No, it’s more like a big fan!”
The third man touched the elephant’s leg and argued, “You’re both wrong! It’s like a tree trunk!”
The fourth man…
This is a Chinese fable I learned growing up. The moral of the story is that truth can be subjective. It reminds me of the common comments people make about investing.
“Share investing is too complex and risky!”
“It’s only for the wealthy or experts!”
“It’s about getting the timing right!”
“It’s all about finding the next ‘big thing’.”
“Investing in property is safe as houses!”
“You always make money in property!”
“The tenant will pay off the loan for you!”
“Use other people’s money (borrow) to make more money!”
We often form preconceived ideas about investing based on past experiences or what we hear from the media or people around us. But these ideas can create biases and blind spots and stop us from making informed decisions.