Oil prices at $100 a barrel are here for the long haul; Alibaba is a world-beating juggernaut that can’t be stopped; ESPN is immune to the shifting sands of the cable business and it’s ability to mint money for Disney will never be in doubt. Just three examples of story lines once taken as gospel that have been shot full of holes.
A word to the wise: the conventional wisdom isn’t always wrong, but it frequently has terrible timing. Some of the stock market’s best investors over the long term – Warren Buffett, Carl Icahn and their ilk – have placed their biggest bets on companies out of favor or during times of market stress.
While long-term gains for stocks at large have historically been a safe bet, individual companies are inherently riskier.