Einstein's skepticism and desire to avoid conforming prevented him from getting deeply involved in politics for most of his life. Regarding politics, he said, admitting there is at least one aspect of life beyond his kin, “How an intelligent man can subscribe to a party I find a complete mystery.”

Non-conformity also helps in investing. There's often a trend to follow the herd - to buy stocks when it seems like everyone is buying and to sell stocks when it seems like everyone else is selling. Being a non-conformist, investing against the grain, can help investors buy low and sell high. That's the only way to be profitable in the stock market.

Disdain for cult of personality

The danger of turning to Albert Einstein for insight into how to live one's life is that it's putting him on a pedestal. Based on my reading of his life, mainly from his biography written by Walter Isaacson, he probably would not like to be looked at as a role model. That isn't to say he didn't like attention, as he grew accustomed to the fame he achieved after his theory of special relativity grew in popularity and acceptance. But when he first saw his fifteen minutes, he lamented:

The cult of individual personalities is always, in my view, unjustified… It strikes me as unfair, and even in bad taste, to select a few for boundless admiration, attributing superhuman powers of mind and character to them…

It seems Einstein would not be too happy with the way people revere the most popular financial gurus. Fans of gurus will continue to stand up for their heroes despite displays of lack of character and lack of sense. Fans are invested in their heroes; to admit their guru isn't perfect is to admit they wasted time, money, and energy. A superfan perceives an attack on Robert Kioysaki's business practices or a criticism of his sales techniques as an attack on the man and his following. A criticism of Dave Ramsey's approach to financial advice is dismissed without consideration; after all, he's the successful author.

I believe that while Einstein would appreciate the success of popular seminar leaders, radio show hosts, and authors, he wouldn't think highly of those who follow advice without every questioning the concepts on which their philosophies are founded or their intentions.