The Bad Side Effect

Amar Pandit , CFA , CFP

Amar Pandit

A respected entrepreneur with 25+ years of Experience, Amar Pandit is the Founder of several companies that are making a Happy difference in the lives of people. He is currently the Founder of Happyness Factory, a world-class online investment & goal-based financial planning platform through which he aims to help every Indian family save and invest wisely. He is very passionate about spreading financial literacy and is the author of 4 bestselling books (+ 2 more to release in 2020), 8 Sketch Books, Board Game and 700 + columns.

Many people believe we are in the Expertise business. We even like being called experts.

Don’t we?

Who doesn’t?

But Expertise comes with a cost – a bad side effect.

I read an interesting story (that addresses this point) Morgan Housel wrote in his blog post, Trying Too Hard.

“Thomas McCrae was a young 19th century doctor still unsure of his skills. One day he diagnosed a patient with a common, insignificant stomach ailment. Mcrae’s medical school professor watched the diagnosis and interrupted every student’s nightmare: your diagnosis is wrong; the patient has a rare and serious disease. Mcrae has never heard of it.

The professor’s diagnosis required immediate surgery. After opening the patient, the professor realized Mcrae’s initial diagnosis was correct. The patient was fine.

Mcrae later wrote that he felt fortunate for having never heard of the rare disease. It allowed his mind to settle on the most likely diagnosis rather than be burdened by searching for rare diseases like his more educated professor.”

The point of this is not that ignorance is great but rather that expertise can build blind spots that experts are likely to miss. Therefore, there are some mistakes that only an expert can make, that only successful people can make.

As Investor Dean Williams said, Expertise is great, but it has a bad side effect, it tends to create the inability to accept new ideas.”

Isn’t this true?

How open are you to accepting new ideas?

How open are you to changing your mind on something?

How many times have you changed your mind?

Many things have changed in our industry/profession, yet many continue to operate as experts from an era that no longer exists…

I hope and wish that you develop the ability to accept new ideas, to change your mind, to address this bad side of expertise.