How Not To Measure Markets

Social media….the gift that just keeps on giving in terms of the idiocy it offers up to traders. It is hard to decide whether it is a wonderful entertainment value or whether it is profoundly depressing in terms of the idiocy that it generates. The latest piece of inanity comes from the notion of how…

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What Are Your Investment Beliefs?

I am sure I have bored plenty of people in recent years by repeating the mantra ‘process over outcomes’. There is probably no more important frame or model to apply when considering how we make investment decisions. In an environment where skill is often overwhelmed by luck and randomness the more we focus on results…

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How to Stop Procrastinating

Confession: I’ve spent most of my life as a chronic procrastinator. I’ve also spent most of my life justifying that chronic procrastination. “It’s just how I work,” I’d say to myself after yet another stress-inducing last-minute sprint to complete a project. The pressure of an imminent deadline was what I needed to thrive. Scientifically, I…

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Psychos Buy Bitcoin

We conducted a survey to find out. In particular, we wanted to know about the relationship between the so-called “dark tetrad” personality traits and attitudes towards cryptocurrency. In psychology, the “dark tetrad” refers to a group of four personality traits. These are Machiavellianism, narcissism, and psychopathy (together known as the “dark triad”), plus sadism. They are…

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History Shows War Shocks Have a Modest Impact on Equities

After Russia rolled tanks and troops into Ukraine, markets sold off—for half a day. S&P 500 futures tumbled overnight, but by 2:30 p.m. in New York on Feb. 24, the S&P 500 was higher than before military action began. While there’s been volatility, U.S. equities as of March 1 were still up since before the…

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Extremely Bad Decisions

There are undoubtedly countless investors nursing losses because of a choice made in recent years to abandon value-oriented strategies to fully commit to the rapidly accelerating growth bandwagon. Although the brutal reversal in the more speculative end of the growth universe can be read as a salutary lesson on style and factor rotations, it is…

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Agricultural Economics

I know staggeringly little about the economics of agriculture which is why I found this Twitter thread so interesting. More wheat stats. My personal favorite Misleading Wheat Stat is “Ukraine/Russia grow 25% of world wheat exports.” Why’s it misleading? It’s technically true, but doesn’t mean what people think! Missing wheat from the war is actually…

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Understanding Crypto

PS: This podcast makes some very interesting points regarding the psychology of speculative tools such as crypto and NFT’S.What is particularly insightful is the notion that trading in these instruments is not necessarily about any form of economic utility but is rather a form of signaling between young men.

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Paradoxical Observation Of The Day

On my social media feeds, I have a number of people who class themselves as trading psychologists. That is individuals who purport to have particular expertise in the field of trading psychology. My expectation would be that these people’s feeds would be full of advice on things such as building resilience, coping with losses, understanding…

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Why Can’t We Stop Making Short-Term Market Forecasts?

Our fascination with forecasts about short-term market movements is a puzzling trait.* Investors continue to make market predictions even though we are consistently wrongfooted. When other people make an incorrect forecast, we don’t disregard what they tell us next but instead say to them: “you were entirely wrong before, what do you think will happen…

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