Following the pack

Nova 96.9, the Sydney radio station, are running a contest called Double Dilema. They give a tricky situation and ask you to SMS your choice, then tune in at 5pm and see if Sydney agrees with what you think. Random prizes are offered to induce participation.

Sydney’s Channel 7 Sunrise program also uses Yes/No phone polls. The peer pressure in this sort of group-think is incredible. I’ve found myself doubting my convictions in response to polls that don’t go my way. Do I really care what 74% of respondents think?

On the other hand, leading the pack is dangerous in the stock market (and potentially also in real estate markets). Anybody still think Telstra 2 was cheap? The trend is your friend.

My motto is “don’t be a schmuck!” The madding crowd have no clue — so don’t follow them. But keep aware that a stampeding mob can kill you if you stand in their way.

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