Investing When Others Won’t

I’m a believer in non-consensus investing—that is, taking advantage of investment opportunities that don’t fit into the conventional framework used by other investors. A leap of faith is sometimes necessary. I like these investments because they require independent thinking and going against the grain, two things I embrace. To get to conviction on these opportunities, I usually do a deep dive into them, so I understand them well.

After I’ve made one of these investments, I sometimes share my thinking with other investors who are using more conventional frameworks. Recently, an investor agreed with my analysis but still didn’t think my investment was a good one because this kind of investment hasn’t historically produced significant returns.

I respect his opinion—after all, I asked for it—but I disagree. Someone must be the first to do something. The person who makes a non-consensus investment first or early is usually going to reap an outsize return, assuming it works out. When other investors follow, their returns are likely to revert to the mean because of the increase in capital chasing the opportunity. I’d rather be in the former group. I like investing in things others might not. It’s more mentally stimulating, has more upside potential, and is a better fit with my personality and wiring.