Man is a pattern seeking animal. We see patterns where none may exist. We have seen Ganesh idol in the clouds and we have seen India map on highways between trees.
Those are fine, so long as our lives are not affected. However, when one starts putting serious money while looking at patterns, one may be in for a very big surprise.
Take for example, the recent successful IPO and a blockbuster listing of Avenue Supermart – the D-Mart company.
The success of this IPO brought out some pretty interesting observations from people:
- What is common between R K Damani, Rakesh Jhunjhunwala and Nimesh Shah? There wives’ names are “Rekha”. So now you know what to do to become wealthy.
- The most successful people wear the same clothes to office daily – e.g., Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, R K Damani. So you know what is required to be successful.
Now, in both the cases, someone has picked up a trait common to some of the successful people (some and not all) and jumped to an easy conclusion.
It was exactly this kind of thinking that led droves of investors to buy any company with “Technology, or “Software”, or “Infosys” in the name during the tech boom. It was exactly this kind of thinking that people biought into emerging markets between 2003-08.
History repeats – it is just that the players change, but many things don’t – human behaviour being one such thing.
“Riding The Roller Coaster – Lessons from financial market cycles we repeatedly forget” is a book that is full of many such examples.