Chapter 2. QUESTION TWO: WHAT CAN YOU FATHOM THAT OTHERS FIND UNFATHOMABLE?

Fathoming the Unfathomable

Fathoming the unfathomable by definition seems unfathomable, so most folks don't try. However, like Question One, it doesn't require any additional scholarship, genetic superiority, or magical superhero powers. All you need is Question Two: What can I see that others can't? The more you ask, the more you see. Since the only basis for a market bet is knowing something others don't, this question provides the second basis for a bet. Go ahead and ask yourself: What do I know that others don't? At this point, your answer may be, "Well... nothing." It's most people's immediate reaction.

Don't be discouraged. You won't be bombarded with Question Twos like you are with Question Ones. We get bombarded with investing nonsense daily. Discovering something others don't know isn't a "Eureka!" moment. It's not the apple falling on Newton's head. It's what happened afterward when Newton asked, "I wonder what the heck made that happen?" and contemplated what forces, natural or sinister, could be at play. It's the reflection in a quiet room away from the incessant market and media noise when you wonder if factor Q could possibly cause result Y when everyone else is yammering on about X causing Y.

The world is busy insisting high P/Es cause poor stock prices (wrong—usually), debt is bad for stocks (wrong—always in Western nations), you shouldn't fight the Fed (wrong about half), and high trade deficits ...

Get The Only Three Questions That Count: Investing by Knowing What Others Don't now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.