More Fun With Numbers

Whenever I see a report on the spread of coronavirus it is generally accompanied by a variation of the graphic below. Giant red circles encompassing massive areas of the globe. People see this and quite naturally freak out because it appears as if the world is engulfed in a runaway contagion. What is being shown…

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Fake Equity Curves

One of the things that social media has brought about is not only widespread dissemination of uneducated and frankly stupid opinions but also the spreading of outright lies. Below is a copy of an equity curve that appeared on one of my pages. Pay close attention to not only the curve which is the thing…

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Easiest Question of the Day

I noticed the following headline whilst having brekky at my local. You can read the original piece here in the Melbourne Age. Unfortunately, I would consider most of it wrong since the way you tell when markets have bottomed is to open a chart and look back six months and go….there’s the bottom. The only…

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Relative Versus Absolute

One of the things that scream incompetent is the inability to distinguish between what is a relative figure and what is an absolute figure. You most often see this sort of idiocy in the reporting of the risks associated with various events such as diet or drug interventions. For example, consider this statement – eating…

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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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