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Steve Alvest


Contrarian views that are becoming so mainstream that maybe we should stop following them

We often get subpar results when we follow what everybody is doing. I think that's because when everybody does one thing, only the ones who got in early reap the full benefits. Contrarian thinking is doing the opposite of what everybody is doing. That way, you don't have much competition and you can dominate a space where few people are.

But contrarian thinking tends to work like a pendulum. When everyone rushes to one side, suddenly the grass looks greener on the other side. What are some contrarian views that have become too mainstream?

It's worth noting that when a contrarian view becomes too mainstream and we decide to go back to the old way, the old way will never be the same. Time moves on and things change. Going back to the old way means going back to the old way with a modern twist.

Contrarian views that are becoming so mainstream that maybe we should stop following them

    1. College is a waste of time and money

    What if COVID and the student loan debt crisis have already forced colleges to change in a way that they're worth going to again?

    2. You can't win investing in individual stocks

    It seems that everyone is buying index funds now. Maybe that opens up some opportunities for undervalued small companies that are not in the popular index funds?

    3. It's not a good idea to get married because most marriages end in divorce

    It seems that fewer people get married and people marry later these days. You can't get divorced if you're not married! If marriage starts going out of fashion, we'll probably see more and more incentives for it pop up.

    4. Spend your money today while you're young, instead of hording it until you're old

    A lot of people have stopped saving, or they're getting old and their retirement funds are sad. But we've been in what pretty much amounts to a bull market since 2009. What if times get rough again? It might be a good idea to start up your savings again now before it's too late.

    5. Don't work for someone else. Be your own boss.

    If nobody wants to flip burgers anymore, guess what happens to the average wages and demand for a burger flipper? When too many people start working for themselves, the failure rate of entrepreneurship will increase. Why? Because it'll be a crowded market. And established companies will have trouble finding and retaining good workers, so those good workers will be rewarded handsomely.

    6. Spend your money on experiences, not things

    The younger generation values physical things less. The reasoning is sound. But what happens when everyone becomes minimalist? Maybe it becomes a boon for people who own a lot of stuff and can command high prices selling it all.

    7. Store everything on the cloud, not on your device

    Storing your stuff on a hard disk is so 2010. Everything's going on the cloud these days. But what happens if something happens to the cloud? (BTW, this crosses my mind a lot, since I live in Northern Virginia, which is where 70% of all internet traffic passes through. It's also known as Data Center Alley)

    8. Don't have kids, it will ruin your life

    People around the world are having fewer and fewer children. I'm not going to lie, it's a huge hassle to have children (I have three). But you know what? I would never give it up if I could go back. There are benefits to having children, which may become more apparent as fewer people choose to have them. (as with marriage, there will also be more incentives for having kids if enough people stop having kids)

    9. Don't buy a home, rent and be location independent

    Buying a home anchors you to one place and puts you in massive debt to the banks. But when more people start renting, who will they rent from? People who own homes, of course. And if the culture shifts to the point where renting becomes the norm, the people who own homes will have some great streams of income.

    10. Get off social media

    Social media is such a waste of time. But if everyone weans off of social media, what will they do when they're on the internet? Probably just go to different, "cooler" social media sites (like NotePD, perhaps?).

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