Applying, to Immigration Law, Lessons Learned in the Financial Markets

The stock market is booming and one legendary investor predicts, “If you’re holding cash, you’re going to feel pretty stupid.” Many will make money, get overconfident, and lose it. It has happened this way for hundreds of years. Who or what is to blame for the cycle of booms and busts? No matter the answer, the cycle that is fascinating to read about, at least when what you read does not hit too close to home. It is also fascinating to read about those who have succeeded throughout multiple major market downturns, those who have been able to amass fortunes and keep those fortunes.

Reading how some investors, including Ben Graham, Warren Buffet, Ray Dalio, Seth Klaraman, and many more, made and kept their fortunes provides lessons in decision-making. These lessons are applicable in fields unrelated to investing, including immigration law. Also applicable to immigration law is the psychology field of “behavioral finance,” which examines some of the human characteristics (including over-confidence, greed, fear, impulsiveness, over-reliance on “gut” feelings) that catapult financial markets and that later cause those markets to crater.

The same human foibles that lead to bad investment decisions and bad investment outcomes lead to bad immigration decisions and (frequently, though not always) bad immigration outcomes. These bad immigration decisions are frequently made by ordinary individuals involved in an immigration process, but they are also made by individuals whom immigration laws might deem “extraordinary”  or “exceptional” people, and they are made by individuals who have the responsibility of making immigration decisions for a business.

What’s more is that the principles that lead some investors to their fortunes and enable them to weather or (in the case of investors in the Graham-Buffet mold) thrive because of the financial storm are the principles that lead to good immigration decisions.

In a series of blog posts, we will draw connections between investing (or trading or speculating), behavioral finance, and immigration law.