The Art of Asymmetric Opportunities

Azeez Mustapha


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Years ago, Jeff Bezos sat on stage and gave away his biggest secret to success.

No, it’s not being “obsessively focused on customers rather than competitors.”

Although sure that was crucial.

No, it’s not having a “bias for action.”

Good, but not quite there.

It’s not even about the power of setting audacious goals and “thinking big.”

All of these were important to Bezos’ success, but they’re all toothless without understanding one simple thing: the art of the asymmetric bet.

In Bezos’ own words:

“If I said you have a 10% chance of a 100x return, you should take that bet every time. You’re still going to be wrong nine out of ten times. It’s gonna feel bad nine out of ten times… but the payoff is very asymmetric.”

He explained further with an analogy:

If you swing for the fences, you’re going to strike out more…

And you’re also going to hit a lot more home runs.

But there’s a BIG difference between baseball and investing.

Your upside is capped in baseball. The max amount of runs you can get in baseball is four.

With investing, it’s different.

A home run could rake in a thousand runs. Maybe more.
The Art of Asymmetric OpportunitiesThe Art of Asymmetric Opportunities
Asymmetric opportunities refer to investments or commitments that bring in disproportionately high returns compared to their risks.

These investments are like ripe truffles in a forest. They require early identification — within a limited window — and, yes, a bias for action.

To most, they’re usually only obvious in hindsight.

Bitcoin is the most famous example of the 21st century.

In hindsight, why wouldn’t you throw $100 into a tiny experimental currency called Bitcoin in 2012?

Most people didn’t. Some of them still lay awake at night wondering what could’ve been…

Even if they took one hundred $100 bets that year and 99 of them failed… they would’ve been set for life from that one tiny Bitcoin bet.

Even if they took ten thousand $100 bets — in everything from obscure stamps to penny stocks — and 9,999 of them went to ZERO… same thing.

$100 in Bitcoin in 2010 is worth over $69 million today.

Would’ve made…

Yes. Spotting these opportunities is easier said than done, I know.

But this is the “secret sauce” of guys like Bezos (and guys like Altucher, too).

They take asymmetric bets in some aspects — maybe all aspects — of their lives…

They failed WAY more than they won…

But they knew all they needed was one moonshot.

For investors, it looks something like this:
The Art of Asymmetric Opportunities1.] Identify fringe/cringe/hated/obscure, but potentially exponential bets.

2.] Read. Read. Read.

3.] Take lots of measured bets.

4.] Repeat.

It only takes one or two of these bets to become a Tesla or Amazon to set you for a lifetime.

Author: Chris Campbell

Source: AltucherConfidential

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Azeez Mustapha

Azeez Mustapha is a trading professional, currency analyst, signals strategist, and funds manager with over ten years of experience within the financial field. As a blogger and finance author, he helps investors understand complex financial concepts, improve their investing skills, and learn how to manage their money.

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