A Magician’s Best Trick: Revealing a Basic Human Bias

The guy had played us every step of the way. First, there was his “poor” performance at guessing—hey, we concluded, this guy puts on his pants one leg at a time. Then he complimented my son with “Hmm, you’re hard to read.” Next, The Magician gave a plausible explanation for my son’s success: “The experience…

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Hedge fund robots are crushing their human rivals

Its intriguing that they call trend followers robots – it is certainly robotic in execution but doesnt need a robot to execute. That’s a key lesson from 2014, when computer algorithm-led investing produced stellar returns, beating most gut-driven human managers and dramatically recovering most of their losses from 2011, 2012 and 2013. So-called managed futures…

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The Secret to Raising Smart Kids

This piece is about how to raise children to be more resilient in the face of both natural talent and adversity. However, the following  caught my eye as being universal. People can learn to be helpless, too, but not everyone reacts to setbacks this way. I wondered: Why do some students give up when they…

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24 Rules Of Life From Werner Herzog

For those who do not know who Werner Herzog is GIYF 1. Always take the initiative.2. There is nothing wrong with spending a night in jail if it means getting the shot you need.3. Send out all your dogs and one might return with prey.4. Never wallow in your troubles; despair must be kept private…

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Context Is Everything

I awoke this morning to catch the following market move being played out. These numbers were accompanied by the usual hand wringing and they did cause me to drop a long options position of mine since I was getting too close to the nasty part of the time decay curve. However, an options position is…

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One of the things I find most interesting about traders is the number of preconceived notions they have about various instruments. For example, FX trading is traditionally associated with trading very short time frames. FX traders tend to have conniptions if you suggest that they trade anything longer than a tick chart. However, this is…

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My Favourite Chart Of Last Year

This is my favourite chart of last year. It is my favourite chart not for the reasons that might immediately spring to mind. I do a year end review of trades that come my way – the aim on doing so is to perform a rigorous form of self assessment. Over the years I have…

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We Are All In The Wrong Line Of Work

Anyone who says the American Dream is dead doesn’t work at a hedge fund. Last year, hedge fund employees earned more money for lower performance. The 2015 Hedge Fund Compensation report indicates that hedge fund professionals’ bonuses and salaries increased this year, and that funds plan to boost hiring in the near future. However, according to…

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Your Brain Is A Jerk

This dropped into my feed this morning and it is intriguing how it is not only in trading that our brain tricks us into doing the wrong thing. The notion that the way you do one thing is the way you do everything still rngs true. One of the curses of being human is that…

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Oil at $50

A few weeks ago I did a dodgy analysis of oil versus shale and put together a league table of production costs for various oil producers. The Economist has done a much tidier job.  

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A Race to the Front Row

Now I know why I have never done classes – they are full of sad narcissistic dickheads….. Greccia Clausen, a Manhattan accountant, approaches her quest for a front-row bike at SoulCycle like the numbers game it is. Every Monday at noon, when the booking window opens, she and a friend each try to grab two…

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