How Economists’ Faith in Markets Broke America

A little more than a generation ago, a stealthy revolution swept America. It was a dual changing of the guard: Two tribes, two attitudes, two approaches to a good society were simultaneously displaced by upstart rivals. In the world of business, the manufacturing bosses gave way to Wall Street dealmakers, bent on breaking up their…

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Bitcoin and Gold Are Monuments To Irrationality

With worries about a currency war growing and bond yields collapsing, investors have reached for their usual haven of gold. Only this time it has a friend (as my colleague Tim Culpan wrote this week): Bitcoin. Gold’s dollar price has risen 7% this month, Bitcoin’s by 18%. This apparent use of the two commodities as companion…

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Final Thoughts – August Newsletter

It’s a fact. Your level of income will rarely exceed your level of self-development. But most of us are going to retire broke. Don’t believe me? Listen to these chilling facts: The average superannuation balance in Australia is only $70,000 (Cooper Review into Superannuation). Only 7% of retirees are financially secure. (Association of Superannuation Funds).…

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A Bizarre Statistic

Apparently, 1 in 4 adults in America did not read one useful book in 2018. They didn’t develop a skill, focus on their mindset, or read something that wasn’t for the purpose of entertainment. Fiction doesn’t count. It’s a pass-time. A guilty, page-turning pleasure. But it’s not a source of education or inspiration, and it…

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Stop Procrastinating

ELIAS CANETTI IN ‘The Human Province’ states “One lives in the naïve notion that later there will be more room than in the entire past.” We think we’ll live forever, and that we’ll always be the age we are right now. We make the mistake thinking we have time. Even though at an intellectual level…

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Are You Making Money Welcome?

MONEY GOES WHERE it feels the most welcome. Money moves to the people who persuade it that it will have a productive home with them. None of us actually create wealth. We don’t print money. However, we do encourage it to visit and stay. We attract it. We multiply it because our actions are deemed…

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Rise Up and Thrive

OK….YOU’VE SUFFERED a huge loss. What makes it worse is you know, at a deep core level, that you did this. You DID this. Your actions made this happen. But I’ve been there. I’ve been struggling for breath as the 50 foot waves sent me tumbling, fighting, unable to control what was happening. I’ve felt…

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Why Wealth and Patience Appear to go Hand in Hand

Patience may be a virtue, but it could also be a key economic indicator. Economists are interested in values like patience, altruism, and trust because they play key roles in how people behave. Those individual and collective behaviors can have wide-ranging effects on a nation’s propensity for armed conflict, trajectories of per capita income, and…

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Sports Cars, Psychopaths, and Testosterone

Should investors care about a fund manager’s relationship status? What kind of car they drive? Ask them if they’ve won any poker games lately? Research points to yes. A recent outpouring of academic papers links the investment performance of professional fund managers to their characteristics as individuals — how they grew up, their personality traits,…

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Why Is It So Hard

I had been toying with the idea of binning my LinkedIn profile since it seems to consist of little more than people with odd titles posting random motivational pictures and the occasional bit of crap about their cat. But it does seem to be the gift that keeps on giving in terms of the nonsense…

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Why Facts Don’t Change Our Minds

In 1975, researchers at Stanford invited a group of undergraduates to take part in a study about suicide. They were presented with pairs of suicide notes. In each pair, one note had been composed by a random individual, the other by a person who had subsequently taken his own life. The students were then asked…

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