There. Are you angry yet?
Nothing makes folks touchy quite like politics. Few humans lack strong political opinions. Partisans love their side, hate the other. Centrists hate extremists of both sides while caring little for ideology. The far left and far right think the center-left and center-right are wishy-washy weaklings. And they’re all surely, confidently, right. It’s a battle for America’s heart and soul, and we aren’t supposed to bring it up before dessert.
But we’re friends now, so here we go. Politics are charged, but they matter for stocks. Nasty laws and regulations have caused or worsened bear markets. Seemingly tiny rule changes can disrupt entire industries and capital markets. Widespread myths about ideology and partisan rhetoric can give contrarians big opportunities to game the crowd.
We’ll cover all of this and more in these pages. Warning, you might not like it. If you lean one way or the other—doesn’t matter which way—your instinct will be to hate at least 50% of this chapter. Just human nature! Battling this instinct is step one. Whether liberal or conservative you’re far from alone, and your ideology is surely priced always. That’s very hard for most people to swallow.
To help spare your sanity, we’ll stay away from pure sociopolitical factors. I don’t do sociology. That’s for someone else. As I mentioned in Chapter 4, it is fine and dandy to think and have opinions about these. They impact everyday life! ...