"Nothing is so treacherous as the obvious" observed Joseph A Schumpeter the famous Austrian political economist who is regarded as one of the 20th century's greatest intellectuals and best known for his theories on business cycles and the development of capitalist economies as well as for introducing the concept of entrepreneurship.
Cycles, whether they be seasonal, economic, or personal, are inextricably tied to life. History has proven that economies rise and fall, and asset prices rise and fall as sure as night follows day. An economic cycle for example is defined as consisting of four distinct phases: expansion; peak; contraction; and trough. Each economic cycle comprises of these four phases. It is also fair to say that one can observe larger economic cycles within which several economic cycles may play out. If you could anticipate, plan, and organize around each stage of these cycles you would inevitably become more astute in any number of professional fields that require the purchase and sale of any asset, service or commodity. If economic cycles are inevitable which they are, why are they not then more predictable? This brings us back to the opening quote in this article by Joseph A. Schumpeter "Nothing is so treacherous as the obvious". How often do we grapple with an issue - any issue - only to say after days. months or years have gone by that the answer or solution had been staring us in the face, except for the fact that we did not see it.
The obvious is sometimes anything but and can be easily obscured by the very human attributes that make us...human. Whether it is hope, denial, greed, doubt, disbelief, attachment to an ideal, theory or assumption that we learnt or inherited in our past or took at face value from an expert, any of these factors can obscure the "obvious".