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The Dao of Capital: Austrian Investing in a Distorted World by Ron Paul, Mark Spitznagel

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Chapter One

The Daoist Sage

Klipp’s Paradox

“You’ve got to love to lose money, hate to make money, love to lose money, hate to make money. . . . But we are human beings, we love to make money, hate to lose money. So we must overcome that humanness about us.”

This is “Klipp’s Paradox”—repeated countless times by a sage old Chicago grain trader named Everett Klipp, and through which I first happened upon an archetypal investment approach, one that I would quickly make my own. This is the roundabout approach (what we will later call shi and Umweg, and ultimately Austrian Investing), indeed central to the very message of this book: Rather than pursue the direct route of immediate gain, we will seek the difficult and roundabout route of immediate loss, an intermediate step which begets an advantage for greater potential gain.

This is the age-old strategy of the military general and of the entrepreneur—of the destroyer and of the very creator of civilizations. It is, in fact, the logic of organic efficacious growth in our world. But when it is hastened or forced, it is ruined.

Because of its difficulty it will remain the circuitous road least traveled, so contrary to our wiring, to our perception of time (and virtually impossible on Wall Street). And this is why it is ultimately so effective. Yet, it is well within the capability of investors who are willing to change their thinking, to overcome that humanness about them, and follow The Dao of Capital.

How do we resolve this paradox? ...

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