Gaining from the Opposite View

by | Dec 18, 2007 | Archives

Last August this site shared seven really important ideas about how to be a good investor.

This thoughts were:

  • We know less than we think we do…and that’s OK.
  • Don’t automatically trust experts…they may be human beings in disguise!
  • The consensus may be wrong…truth is not created through repletion of an error.
  • Don’t trust analysts…they may be human beings in disguise!
  • Risk is your partner…for better or for worse.
  • You cannot succeed without making mistakes…if you opt for certainty, you will die anonymously.
  • Listen to those who disagree…this expands our horizons.

This message is the beginning of a series of notes from readers expressing opposite views to mine.

This is not a new thing for this site but a reader inspired me to share more of this when he sent this note below:

“ Gary , Your revealing of a somewhat negative (naive) response by a reader, unwilling to rationalize a $49 subscription to your service, actually added credibility to you as a person and businessman. Most would not publish negative responses, although you have always pointed out the downsides as well (ie..recent coastal property discourse). I have been a member of your ‘list’ for years now and the amount of selfless giving of ‘free’ information is without comparison and very much appreciated. Thank you.”

Wow that is one of the nicest compliments I have received so here is more of the opposing view.

“ Gary , I bought a house in Quito . I hope that many Americans do not follow. Do you want the culture of Ecuador to be overrun and ruined? If so tell everyone about the country and it will turn into another Costa Rica , Columbia or Venezuela . Stephen”

My reply:

“Stephen, Thanks for this thought. I have great sympathy for this ideal because I love Ecuador too and hate to see it change. Perhaps my concerns are even more than yours because we are in a tiny village. If 1,000 more people come to Quito you’ll never know. 1,000 in Cotacachi will have a huge impact!

“Yet the only thing we can be certain of is change. We call our thoughts about controlling growth, ‘the last person through the gate response’.

“I have it often.

“Also remember whoever moved into Ecuador just before you hates that fact that you are there. If they had their way, your entry would not have been allowed.

“I have struggled with this again and again.

“When we moved to Naples Florida , a quiet laid back fishing village, 30 years ago, life was wonderful! Everytime someone moved to town they would say, ‘I hope no one else comes.’

Yet the masses arrived and it became so crowded and flashy that we left.

We moved to Ashe County , North Carolina when it had a tiny population, very laid back farming community with little more than pickups on the road. I even sold my Miata because a Japanese car without a top would not have fit in. Anything that could not carry a bale of hay at that time was very odd.

Now we have three cappuccino stores, several fancy restaurants with chefs instead of cooks and we see Hummers, Beamers and a lot of galleries where we used to have feed stores.

I vented my frustration over this clear back in 2001 when I wrote an article “How to Make Money Even When You Don’t Want To”. See

Yet unless someone gets involved in the P (population) word…what are we to do? Should we put up a fence? What right do we have to deny others the same wonderful lifestyle we enjoy?

Plus if I recall correctly one book filled with great wisdom reminds us not to hide our light under a bushel. So Merri and I have a different idea.

Instead we try to be inspiring and attract good people to be our neighbors. We try to share our joys with the belief that like attracts like. If we can all be good people and let other good people know about the great place we live, perhaps we can fill our neighborhood with lots of other good people.

We cannot do much to stop the population. We cannot in this era of instant communication stop the world from know about the delights of the great places we have discovered. But we can involve ourselves in the process of attracting the kinds of neighbors we would like to see.

If we are going to have to have a crowd at the party, let’s make it a good crowd!

Again thanks for your comments. I hope these few thoughts have shed some light on ways to resolve a most difficult ideal.

Until next message may all your crowds, holidays and places where you live be good


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