If a person made a smart business decision that was counterintuitive, you might look through the bars of his or her gated home as that person backstroked through a pool of gold coins and think, “Wow! That person has good business sense.” You would almost certainly be wrong, though, weirdo, because a new study has found that people who strike it big on one or two unlikely scenarios still end up making fewer correct predictions in the long run.
A team of researchers went through a three-year backlog of experts’ quarterly forecasts for interest rates and inflation, published in the Wall Street Journal. The experts whose predictions were right when most other predictions were wrong turned out to make more inaccurate predictions over time than people regularly making the “safe” bets. That means some people got lucky when making a bad decision, and were probably hailed as savants for it, even though their predictions were less accurate on average.
Study author Jerker Denrell told this to the Harvard Business Review:
So just remember, kids: be successful but just not too successful.
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