I’m a natural born contrarian. My contrarianism comes from a strong belief in diversity. Let me explain:
As our society has gotten more and more specialized we have seen great benefits. Specialized medicine is probably the best example of this. It has lead to advances that have saved so many more lives than if we had only had just one type of doctor.
There is a major drawback, however, to this trend. Specialized thinking can too easily become narrow-minded thinking. Specialized knowledge nearly precludes the diversity of knowledge that is desperately needed to solve a great number of problems.
In finance, you find a large percentage of the professional population with experience and education that almost completely overlap. They share the same ideas and beliefs but also have the same blind spots. This is how you get a financial crisis: one major, common blind spot.
The contrarian, then, strives to attain a breadth of multidisciplinary knowledge and experience that will serve her in ways the specialized can only begin to understand.
Ultimately, we would do well to recruit fewer finance and economics majors into the finance industry. And other industries would do well to recruit these folks into theirs, ala Moneyball.