YTD Performance

I posted the following graphic in the Charts of Interest. However, I feel it deserves a more expanded examination. In the years following the GFC the domestic market has lagged markedly behind other world markets. The shock of the GFC has had a profound impact upon the psyche of investors – that combined with a rampant…

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Your Brain Is Primed To Reach False Conclusions

Helena Matute, a psychologist at Deusto University in Bilbao, Spain, and her colleagues enlisted 147 college students to take part in a computer-based task in which they each played a doctor who specializes in a fictitious rare disease and assessed whether new medications could cure it. In phase one of the study, the student volunteers…

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What Is This Telling Me…Sweet FA

I snipped the graphic below from Bespoke the folks who produce countless and mostly points charts on the market.  It compares the percentage change in the S&P500 to date with the first six months of 2014. The chart above attempts to draw a comparison between the initial portion of this year and the same period last…

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A History Lesson

I am a history buff – the thing that fascinates me about history is that you can see the same patterns of behaviour repeated on a macro and micro scale over and over again. As an example I ran into a past member of our mentor program sometime ago at the opera and we had…

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Fake Hedge Fund Manager Fakes Death Using Fake Assistant

He never made real investments with funds, instead using the money for personal use, authorities said. To keep his companies going, he issued false earnings statements. “By pretending to be a successful hedge-fund manager, Malik conned investors into bankrolling his lavish lifestyle,” Andrew M. Calamari, director of the SEC’s New York Regional Office, said at…

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Context Is Everything

As someone who comes from a data driven background one of the things that has always intrigued me about financial markets is that despite being a wellspring of raw data it is driven by narratives. Humans do seem to prefer stories over data – in effect we are a hairless ape that prefers stories to…

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The Art of Stillness

After a thirty-year study of time diaries, two sociologists found that Americans were actually working fewer hours than we did in the 1960s, but we feel as if we’re working more. We have the sense, too often, of running at top speed and never being able to catch up. […] We’ve lost our Sundays, our…

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Is it still cheating if I don’t get caught?

There is an excellent piece by Fairfax media doing the rounds this weekend that looks at the problems Macquarie Bank seems to have complying with the law and the difficulties its financial planning division has in acting honestly. The thrust of the story is that Macquarie has been the subject of an enforceable undertaking due to…

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They Made Me Do It

I came across this article and the end part which I have copied below caught me eye. Australian regulations under fire In the wake of the global financial crisis, the United States put a handbrake on the retail foreign exchange industry, limiting it to a maximum leverage ratio of 50:1. However, in Australia, foreign currency…

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The Value Of The Long Game

All market participants have little myths that they cling to and it doesn’t matter whether your investing is based upon the narrative fallacies generated by fundamental investing/news or whether you take a more technical approach. All humans are subject to inaccuracies in thinking – making mental mistakes is universal. One that has always intrigued me…

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