Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Mist

Learning often feels like you are covered in a thick mist. You make your way along a path with heightened senses, apprehension, and depending on how much you know of the destination - excitement. Occasionally, you feel like the path clears somewhat with a gap in the grey and you make solid progress. Then the mist descends again. 

I definitely feel like this with investing. Businesses are hard to understand. There are so many variables and years of studying only provides you with the letters, some of the grammar, and a few favourite memorised passages. Each business is a new book, with regular new editions. Capitalism is more like English where new words are being invented all the time, and the meanings of words are changing than French where a central committee strongly protect the language. Even when you think you understand, the mist descends again. The misunderstanding is that we like to think one day the mist clears and the expert sees with great clarity. 

The truth is the real leaders are always shrouded. This mist exists in all fields. Great Musicians are constantly practising new techniques, mastering new pieces. For Sportsmen, this mist might be pain if they are marathon runners or closer to music if they are Messi. The art is perhaps making sure you don't go down paths where you see nothing and get lost, but don't spend your days dancing along paths you already know without creating new ones.

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