Note from Senior Managing Editor Christina Grieves: As Alexander Green shares today, he approaches every investment opportunity with a healthy dose of skepticism. And this strategy has paid off for his subscribers…
Now, in his latest interview, Alex reveals a new technology that could completely replace smartphones. CNN calls it “the big technology wave of the future.” And Alex’s due diligence confirms it offers a massive investment opportunity. Click here to watch the presentation and see for yourself.
We live in a world where people continually make claims.
Political claims. Historical claims. Economic claims. Religious claims. Scientific claims. Commercial claims. Investment claims.
We can’t be experts in all these fields. So how do you sort out fact from fiction?
With a healthy dose of skepticism.
My wife, Karen, calls me a born skeptic. But that’s not actually true.
I remember the exact moment I became a skeptic. I was 7 years old. It was Christmas Day.
I was telling 8-year-old Grace Olmstead – who lived across the street – what Santa brought me for Christmas.
“There is no Santa,” she said. “It’s your parents.”
“What?” I confronted my mother immediately.
“Grace Olmstead said there’s no Santa, that it’s really just you and Dad.”
My mom looked a bit sheepish. “Well…” she said.
I was stunned. “Wow,” I remember thinking. “You can’t even necessarily believe your parents.”
The episode had such a profound impact on me that I sat my daughter, Hannah, down at the same age and told her I was going to let her in on an important secret.
“It’s about something that parents do to make Christmas magical for their kids. And someday you’ll do it for your kids too…”
I never had that talk with my son, David.
At the same age he approached me and said, “Dad, are you really going to tell me there’s this dude from the North Pole who loads up his sleigh with toys and he and his flying reindeer deliver them to kids all over the world?”
It may be the shortest conversation we’ve ever had.
Even in childhood, we soon realize that not all information is true, even if it comes from those in positions of trust or authority.
That’s why a skeptical attitude is paramount.
Some folks confuse skepticism with cynicism or the rejection of new ideas. It is neither.
Skepticism is simply a method of ascertaining the truth to the best of our abilities.
When a person or organization makes a claim, skeptics neither accept it nor dismiss it out of hand.
Rather, they take a dispassionate look at the evidence and use reason and their critical thinking skills to try to reach a valid conclusion.
Some claims will prove to be true, others untrue.
Still others will cause us to conclude, “We don’t have enough evidence. We just don’t know.”
In my experience, it is generally less costly to disbelieve a claim than to believe it.
After all, there are plenty of people who want to sell you something, influence your behavior, manage your money, receive your donation, get your vote, change your opinion.
Not all have salutary motives.
There is probably no one in this country more closely identified with the skepticism movement than my friend Dr. Michael Shermer.
Michael is a historian of science, the author of several books (including the magisterial The Moral Arc), the founder of The Skeptics Society and editor-in-chief of its magazine, Skeptic.
He also produces what I believe is hands-down the most fascinating podcast on the web, The Michael Shermer Show.
Each episode is a free-ranging conversation between Michael and a leading scientist, historian, philosopher or thinker.
(Some of my favorite episodes feature psychologist Steven Pinker, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson and Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman.)
A few weeks ago, Michael invited me on the show to discuss my new book, The Gone Fishin’ Portfolio: Get Wise, Get Wealthy… and Get On With Your Life.
In our hour-plus conversation, we also touched on everything from the origin of money to financial risk and reward to how most wealthy Americans become rich.
I also encourage you to sign up for Michael’s superb podcast.
It’s educational. It’s free. And, in my view, way better than 99% of what’s on Netflix.
I’m glad that my readers and I are not among them.
We examined the evidence in favor of these popular assets and remained skeptical.
At the same time, we have more than tripled our money in stocks like Novocure (Nasdaq: NVCR) – a company that treats cancer with electrical currents – since we got in last year.
Why? Because we examined the evidence and found it compelling.
In my long career as an investment analyst, I’ve witnessed the dot-com bubble, the housing bubble, the crypto bubble and many others.
None cost me a dime because I didn’t plunk for any of them.
Was it luck? Nope. It was well-deserved skepticism.
Over time, a skeptical approach will save you a lot of aggravation and grief.
Not to mention a great deal of money.