Sunday, August 14, 2011

Investment Lessons From the Rockies

I've been on vacation in Montana and the Canadian Rockies for a while.  Not where you'd expect investment advice to grow on trees.  However, if you look, you'll find them.  Here are three images of investment advice.

Lesson 1: Know the rules of the game.

You're looking at a five hour traffic jam, merging down to one lane.  As far as the eye can see, no one enters the merging lane.  In the U.S. we'd call that an arbitrage opportunity.  In Canada, that's business as usual.  God help the poor sap who tries to cut the lane.  One driver tried.  Others berated him so badly, he ran, tail between his legs, to the back of the line. 

Lesson 2: Herding is real

I took about eight minutes to shoot this abandoned house.  (My wife and kids won't sit in the car on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere for much longer.)  When I started, the cows didn't care.  Soon, they're all looking at me, and a large crowd is headed my direction.  As a city person, I'm shocked.  My kids were laughing.  However, it reminds you how quickly a crowd of essentially mindless beings can latch on to something entirely irrelevant to their well being and success. 

Lesson 3: Chaos cannot continue forever

I'd imagine the day Avalanche Lake formed, it seemed like the world would end.  A massive avalanche clears the trees from the side of a mountain into an empty valley.  No one (if present) would have imagined the pristine calm that would follow.