The Zombie Apocalypse Is Upon Us….Apparently

According to the popular press, Australians are racing out to buy hand sanitiser and face masks to protect them from the coming apocalypse. I do wish someone would tell them that neither will help. However, as someone who is fascinated by group behaviour hence my belief that Charles P Kindleberger’s Manias, Panics and Crashes is…

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Why Walking Helps Us Think

In Vogue’s 1969 Christmas issue, Vladimir Nabokov offered some advice for teaching James Joyce’s “Ulysses”: “Instead of perpetuating the pretentious nonsense of Homeric, chromatic, and visceral chapter headings, instructors should prepare maps of Dublin with Bloom’s and Stephen’s intertwining itineraries clearly traced.” He drew a charming one himself. Several decades later, a Boston College English professor named Joseph Nugent and his…

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The Perils of “Survivorship Bias”

An aspiring entrepreneur could be forgiven for thinking that dropping out of college to start a company is the key to success. After all, it worked beautifully for Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg. These business moguls’ well-known stories give the impression that to become a triumph in business, all you need is a…

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The Joys of Social Media and Bullshitting

I have mentioned before about the intriguing claims made by people on social media about their trading prowess. My favourite of late has to be the guy claiming a 10,000% return in his trading. So for shits and giggles, I wanted to see what a 10,000% return on various starting bases was and the result…

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Neil Pasricha: Happy Habits

Here are a few highlights from our conversation: What I learned from my parents was the model of resilience. The idea that you can add a “yet” to any sentence. Meaning, when I talked to my mom growing up, she’d be like, “Well, dad would take me to the German club and I said to…

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How Things Used To Be

With the inevitable demise of Holden it’s always fun to look back at how things were done. This ad from Ford could never be made today because of the fun police. Surely everyone wants to hang out the back of a ute going up Olivers Hill in Frankston.  

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Survivor Bias…..Again

This is a recent post that popped up in my Twitter feed. It follows the usual nonsense line of, if you had gone back in history and bought this stock and held it till today you would have X amount of money. It’s the same nonsense as saying that if you had invested in APPL…

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Asset Managers’ BS — Decoded

A Translation Guide to Asset Manager-Speak Now is a good entry point = Sorry, we are in a drawdown We have a high Sharpe ratio = We don’t make much money We have never lost money = We have never made money We have a great backtest = We are going to lose money after…

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The Mother of All Cognitive Illusions

Voters generally, and prosperous voters in particular, suffer from what I call the mother of all cognitive illusions: they believe that having to pay higher taxes would make it more difficult to buy what they want. Like many illusory beliefs, this one may seem self-evident. And yet, as I will explain, it is completely baseless.…

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Tinkering with the Irrelevant

One of the good things about trading is that you have a lot of time on your hands and I mean a lot of time on your hands. As such you are free to engage in whatever pursuits you want. For me, this often involves exploring various scientific debates that are going on that might…

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