A general tendency is to call an expert when one does not have sufficient knowledge of a subject. Experts are presumed to know everything about a problem and its solution.
That is why thousands of people across the world rely on experts to make predictions for them. There are for example many experts on the stock market who regularly try to predict the direction of market based on their experiences from the past and their knowledge. However they often come up with failures. Still people listen to them push their doubts under the carpet and do what only those experts tell. They rush to their stock brokers in order to find the next golden stock.
Tech forums are full of people who just at a hint of a problem, run to tech forums to seek expert answers. They do not want to make the effort by first searching on the internet. Often the experts know that you do not want to do the hard work. They tell you the solution that appeal to your thought process rather than the right ones.
Experts may not have your best interest in mind. I have seen and met a few experts who are only interested in giving roundabout information that is not useful most of the time. They want me to come to them again and again( probably they can make more money that way).
Some experts would also like to give you suggestions that go contrary to your thinking. In that case they might cause more confusion than the actual resolution.
Sometimes, experts too make their own assumptions which may be contrary to the truth. They then derive incorrect conclusion which may be troublesome for you, if you seek their advice. For example, an expert would be trying to sell you a stock which probably was recommended by a group of experts, that he trusts.
Would an expert doubt himself?
No single formula works everywhere for all situations. Naseem Nicholas Taleb in his book “Black Swan” talks about a number of factors which include unexpected events, human biases and many other things that can shape an outcome. Even the perfect formula that worked for some other company may not work for you. An expert who says that outcome will be the same for all situations because he says so, is deluding you and himself.
Can you trust experts?
I am not saying all experts are incorrect or do not do their homework. The best expert is the one who explains his logic and thought process. He is open to suggestions and is flexible. He may let go of short term convictions in the interest of the client. Like a good salesman who lets go of the sales today in order to win the customer forever, a good experts works with the client and not against him.
Why not do a little bit of research yourself?
In the case of stock market, it pays to learn the nuances of financial statements. You will learn about finance and gather knowledge about the industry.
If you are operating your entrepreneurial venture and if you have a problem, you can always find solution by first researching on the subject and then seeking the expert opinion.
Ask specific questions, get specific answers
Ask an expert, which direction is stock market headed this year? You will get a roundabout answer which in the end will mean “up”. However, if you pick a stock, learn about it and frame specific question like “How is entry of the competitor company is going to affect the prospects of stock of the company I picked up?” or “What is new product that this company is developing, about?” you might see a more serious face.
You will probably notice that “the expert” is more prepared next time.
Take help from the expert but then also do a little bit of research yourself too. You will learn something new and you can ask more relevant question next time.
What about you? Do you run to expert every time you face a problem or do you research a lot before you approach the expert?