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We humans seldom succeed and prosper by following the crowd and doing what’s popular

The following is an excerpt from the May 1, 2017 financial news letter of Simon Black.


You’ve probably heard the saying “The Early Bird Gets the Worm. . .”

It turns out that expression is completely wrong, both literally and figuratively.

This morning I was watching these new baby chicks run around and play on the lawn.

If you’ve never seen chickens up close and personal, their lives are pretty simple; they basically just wander around all day pecking at the ground looking for some insect or seed to eat.

(At least, that’s what’s supposed to happen; most chickens destined for grocery aisles live in tiny cages and never see daylight.)

Every time one of them would find a seed or worm in the ground, the nearby chicks would immediately dash over and start tugging at the food.

One would steal the worm from the other and run off with it in its beak, upon which the other chicks would pounce and steal the worm again.

It was hilarious to watch, it just needed the Benny Hill theme.

But there was one chick who had it in her instinct to separate from the pack.

She didn’t have to go far-- just far enough to be uninteresting to the rest of the chicks who couldn’t see past their own beaks.

Sure enough, after a while the solo chick discovered a treasure trove of worms nearby a compost pile.

While the other chicks were fighting over scraps, this one had a whole worm colony to herself.

That’s why the saying isn’t true. It’s not the early bird who gets the worm.

It’s the one who has the courage and independence of mind to avoid the crowd and go where everyone else isn’t.

Life, business, and investing aren’t so different than nature: we humans seldom succeed and prosper by following the crowd and doing what’s popular.


He was making a point in regard to investing, but, as he said, the idea is also very true for life in general.

May 2017

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