Thinking Outside the Majority Opinion Is Mission Critical

Brandon Smith of Alt-Market blog writes:

If there is one concept on Earth that has been the absolute bane of human existence, it would have to be the concept of the “majority opinion”. The moment men began refusing to develop their own world views without first asking “What does everyone else think?”, they set themselves up for an endless future of failures. We are, of course, very social beings, and our natures drive us to seek those of like mind and spirit in what some might call a “tribal imperative”. Human beings desperately want to belong, but, they also desperately want to understand the environment around them. Often, the desire to belong and the desire to know the truth conflict. In some societies, in order to be accepted, one must give up on his search for truth and avoid eliciting the anger of others. This causes a severe mental and emotional disturbance within a population. In order to reconcile their conflicting needs within a system that does not nurture their quest for transparency, they tend to unconsciously cling to the “majority view” as if their very existence depends on it. The idea of the majority view or the “mainstream”, gives people the sense that they are a part of a group, and at the same time, gives them the illusion of being informed. Their rationale is:

If most of the population believes something to be true, then, by “statistical law”, it most likely is true. Those who do not share in the majority opinion are therefore in opposition to statistical law; meaning they are behind the times, social deviants, or just plain crazy…

The problem is, history has shown that at pivotal moments in a society the “majority opinion” is usually wrong. Any progress we do enjoy as a species is almost always due to the actions of tireless aware minorities, or even a lone man or woman who saw what the rest of us could not.

That means, too, that if you want to excel in making your account grow as a trend following trader you will need to believe in yourself. If you can’t believe in yourself, if you only can make decisions once your group has signed off with a group hug, you will have a tough time with trend following (or any life success for that matter). Time to stand up and out. Leave the group. I put sheep in my film for a reason.