Drivers are investors, too

One hour ago I was driving home. The road was very dark. Another driver came up right behind me. There were just a couple car lengths between us and he had his bright lights on. I was blinded in the side and rear view mirrors. Starting to get irritated, I slowed down so he could pass. He stayed behind me. There were no other cars in sight, before or behind. I slowed down a little more. He still didn’t pass. What is his problem?

I slowed down more, now about 15-20 miles below the speed limit. I flashed my own bright lights on and off. Finally he dimmed his brights.

I accelerated back to the speed limit. Shortly after, our side of the road split into two lanes. I pulled into the right lane, and my tailgater pulled into the left and quickly passed me. Then he proceeded to drive exactly the speed limit, seemingly in no rush at all.

There are so many bad drivers out there. I have the pleasure of passing (or, usually being passed by) bad drivers every day. It’s not that they are bad exactly…just impatient? Or multitasking? On a long roadtrip I was sitting in the passenger seat. I watched as a woman merged onto our interstate at 70 mph without ever looking up from her phone. Why? How is her text message that urgent? Or maybe she is just browsing Facebook?

It gives me solace to remember that people who drive are often the same people who buy stocks. I rest easy knowing they are out there, buying high and selling low. When I meet these impatient, multitasking road-terrors in the markets, they pay my bills. They are too impatient to do anything else.

To see a book-length explanation on the impatience of investors, and how to make money from it, read Mark Spitznagel’s “The Dao of Capital.” He takes eight chapters to build up to the punchlines in chapters 9 and 10. But don’t just skip to the end. If you can’t make it through the first eight chapters…well, you probably don’t have the patience to implement the last two.

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