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Numeracy and Wealth

Abstract Numeracy is defined as the ability to understand and use numerical information. We examined the relationship between numeracy and wealth using a cross-sectional and a longitudinal study. For a sample of approximately 1000 Dutch adults, we found a statistically significant correlation between numeracy and wealth, even after controlling for differences in education, risk preferences,…

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What You See

As part of a recent discussion in the Mentor Program we looked at the nature of returns and how they can be distributed in the real world which is very different to how you want them to be distributed in your head. For the conversation I posted the graph below which is a series of…

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Does Creativity Decline with Age?

This question has attracted scientific research for more than a century. In fact, the first empirical study of this issue was published in 1835. Thus, I can offer a confident answer: not quite! At least not if creativity is assessed by productivity or by making original and valuable contributions to fields such as science and…

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Don Quitoxe is 400 Years Old

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss Miguel de Cervantes’ 17th century novel, Don Quixote. Published four hundred years ago in Madrid, the book was an immediate success and recognised as one of the classic texts of Western Literature, revered by writers such as Sterne, Goethe, Flaubert, Dostoevsky, Kafka and Melville. Don Quixote tells the story of…

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This is a bit of a Sunday morning tea and toast ramble, so if you have something more important to do like catch up on Housewives of Melbourne aka Slappers of Bleak City or you are you are wondering what happened in the latest episode of My Kitchen Dickheads I suggest you pop off now. I…

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I spotted this chart this morning – it looks at the percentage of Americans with direct investment in equities. There are a few things about this chart that caught my eye. The first was the obvious decline, Gallup attribute this to a shrinking number of middle class American being involved in the markets. This may…

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Know This First: Risk Perception Is Always Irrational.

Our perceptions, of risk or anything else, are products of cognitive processes that operate outside our conscious control — running facts through the filters of our feelings and producing subjective judgments that disregard the evidence. The behavioral scientists Melissa Finucane and Paul Slovic call this the Affect Heuristic; it gives rise to what I call…

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