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93% Above Average

Veteran international investor John Corey comments

The title tackles the idea that people are bad at self-assessment if 93% believe they are above average. The flaw cuts both ways. We overestimate our driving ability and underestimate other abilities (mathematics is something many say they are weak at).

To quote an article, “The above-average effect, sometimes known as illusory superiority, is a finding in social psychology that people tend to over-estimate their abilities.” *

In addition to our failures at self-assessment is a flawed ability to perceive reality.

“…Our motivations and desires can give rise to two biases: a perceptual bias (when our motivations have a top-down influence on our perceptions) and a response bias (when we report seeing what we wish to see).” **

I will use 'fooled by randomness' to capture how flawed our thinking is. The flaw dominates when we worry, feel stressed, and other situations associated with fear - FEAR being False Expectations, Appearing Real. It is a human condition to pull back when fearful, as it is better to miss out than die. Our lizard brain kicks in, and we pull back.
As the Queen and the nation just celebrated the Platinum Jubilee, let's look at what has gone on during her reign. My focus is on the housing market and the economics that frame house prices. I will heavily draw on David Smith's article in the Sunday Times, "Platinum Jubilee marks 70 years of inflation, tax and surging house prices."

Sound familiar?
“There is a war on, and inflation is at uncomfortably high levels, having gone from under 2 per cent to more than 10 per cent in the space of a couple of years. Households feel badly squeezed and are having to penny-pinch to make ends meet. People were looking forward to the sunlit uplands, but times are very tough.” ***
If the above sounds familiar, you will have to cast your mind back to 1952. Yes, the situation is similar, except that British troops fought and died during the Korean War.

I had written before that when the Queen took the Throne; the UK was a nation of renters. Something close to 70% of the population lived in rented accommodation. We can debate the merits of state ownership vs the private rental sector, but we cannot argue that a person needs to own a home to start a family or feel like they can get on with their life. All of that said, they do not need to own the house in which they live. Second, a person can invest in real estate without living in a home they own.

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