Is the world really better than ever?

B the end of last year, anyone who had been paying even passing attention to the news headlines was highly likely to conclude that everything was terrible, and that the only attitude that made sense was one of profound pessimism – tempered, perhaps, by cynical humour, on the principle that if the world is going to…

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Random Thoughts From Life On the Road

LB and I have just wrapped up about a month of travelling to different states and presenting, which is something we haven’t done for probably 15 years. It was an interesting adventure and good to get out from behind the screen and talk to people. When I go anywhere I try and be a keen…

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The new astrology

Since the 2008 financial crisis, colleges and universities have faced increased pressure to identify essential disciplines, and cut the rest. In 2009, Washington State University announced it would eliminate the department of theatre and dance, the department of community and rural sociology, and the German major – the same year that the University of Louisiana…

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A Century of Evidence on Trend Following

AQR recently updated its paper A Century of Evidence on Trend Following and whilst the updated hasn’t changed the basic conclusion of earlier versions it is worth unpacking some of the main point of the paper. The paper in its introduction makes an immensely important point that is lost on most – As an investment…

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Buying time promotes happiness

Despite rising incomes, people around the world are feeling increasingly pressed for time, undermining well-being. We show that the time famine of modern life can be reduced by using money to buy time. Surveys of large, diverse samples from four countries reveal that spending money on time-saving services is linked to greater life satisfaction. To…

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Claude Shannon, the Las Vegas Shark

Long before the Apple Watch or the Fitbit, what was arguably the world’s first wearable computer was conceived by Ed Thorp, then a little-known graduate student in physics at the University of California, Los Angeles. Thorp was the rare physicist who felt at home with both Vegas bookies and bookish professors. He loved math, gambling,…

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Getting Hit In The Head Is Bad For You

I have written about the remarkable John Urschel before and I did make a comment that it would be a shame to see such a remarkable intellect blunted by repetitive injuries. One of the N.F.L.’s smartest players did the math and decided to retire after just three years in the league. John Urschel, an offensive lineman…

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FX YTD Performance

Since I was playing around with YTD performance I thought I would isolate a handful of currency pairs and see how they did and as you can see from below they are a mixed bunch. Variations in performance are generally by themselves not that interesting, after all its a market and it depends upon variation…

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YTD Performance

As we sail past the half way point of the year I thought I look in the rear view mirror might be interesting to see how a few select markets have performed. There are no prizes for guessing that the local market has been shit.  

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Maryam Mirzakhani

I first wrote about Maryam Mirzakhani when see became the first women to win a Fields Medal in mathematics.  Sadly a few weeks ago she lost her battle with cancer aged 40 – the world needs more special minds not fewer but disease of any kind owes no one any favours. For those interested in…

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