Things that are going up in value almost always appear to be overpriced.
Real estate, fine art and start up investments have something in common: the good ones always seem too expensive when we have a chance to buy them. (And so do the lame ones, actually).
That New York condo that’s going for $8 million? You didn’t buy it when it was only a tenth that, when it was on a block where no one wanted to live. Of course, if everyone saw what was about to happen, it wouldn’t have been for sale at the price being offered.
And you could have bought stock in (name company here) for just a dollar or two, but back then, no one thought they had a chance… which is precisely why the stock was so cheap.
And the lousy investments also seem overpriced, because they are.
Investments don’t always take cash. They often require our effort, our focus, or our commitment. And the good ones always seem like they take too much, until later, when we realize what a bargain that effort would have been.
The challenge isn’t in finding an overlooked obvious bargain that people didn’t notice. The challenge is in learning to tell the difference between the ones that feel overpriced and the ones that actually are.
The insight is that when dealing with the future, there’s no right answer, no obvious choice—everything is overpriced. Until it’s not.
Written by Seth Godin