What you have to remember is that Holmes was, in many ways, a reflection of his creator.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was a genius in every sense of the word: medical doctor, prolific author, adventurer, historian, intellectual – he did it all. Conan Doyle was also fortunate enough to encounter many brilliant teachers. In fact, Holmes’ most extraordinary qualities – his ability to deduce a person’s entire life history from the tiniest detail, for instance – weren’t fiction at all. They were based on the skills of real-life men whom Conan Doyle was fortunate enough to study under in medical school. Although he never existed, Sherlock Holmes is still more real – and more relevant – than most people think.
The London detective dealt with many difficult cases throughout his career, but they pale in comparison to our current economic problems. Call this one “The Case of the Perplexed Investor.”
How can you use the wisdom of Conan Doyle – as expressed in the Sherlock Holmes stories – and find success during these days of distress and financial uncertainty?
Here are some tips straight from 221B Baker Street.
Approach financial decisions with a clear mind. In “The Adventure of the Cardboard Box,” Holmes outlined his method for solving a tricky mystery. “We approached the case, you remember, with an absolutely blank mind, which is always an advantage,” he said. “We had formed no theories. We were simply there to observe and to draw inferences from our observations.” Conan Doyle was obviously relying upon his own experience as a doctor. In order to give his patients an accurate diagnosis, he couldn’t allow his personal bias to interfere.
Likewise, when making an important investment decision, you must first empty your mind of all negative preconceptions. Replace the conventional wisdom we are bombarded with on a daily basis with real wisdom – the kind that comes from concentrating with keen eyes and a clear mind on the hard data staring you right in the face. Even though it’s your money at stake, you must take the Holmesian approach and look at the investment opportunity in a thoroughly objective and removed manner.
Get your hands dirty. Holmes was known to crawl around the dirty floor of a crime scene and poke into every nook and cranny he could find. It was all very improper behavior for Victorian England. The detectives from Scotland Yard wouldn’t be caught dead doing what Holmes did for fear of being laughed at by their peers. That’s why Holmes always solved the cases first: he didn’t care what anyone else thought. He was after the truth, period.