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A Little Bit More History

MODERN COMPARISONS The peak value of the Dutch East India Company was so high, that it puts modern economies to shame. In fact, at its height, the Dutch East India Company was worth roughly the same amount as the GDPs of modern-day Japan ($4.8T) and Germany ($3.4T) added together. Even further, in today’s chart, we…

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Sensation-Seeking Hedge Fund Managers

Abstract Using a novel data set of hedge fund manager automobile purchases, we show that, motivated by sensation seeking, hedge fund managers often take risk for personal and non-pecuniary reasons. In line with the sensation seeking view, managers who own powerful sports cars take on more investment risk but do not deliver higher returns, resulting…

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Its The Same Old Song

I caught a piece in Bloomberg this morning that had FX traders lamenting the lack of volatility in FX markets this year and using that as an excuse for their lack of profitability. Upon seeing this I thought to myself that this sounds awfully familiar amd it does – it is the classic I dont…

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Your Brain Can Only Take So Much Focus

The ability to focus is an important driver of excellence. Focused techniques such as to-do lists, timetables, and calendar reminders all help people to stay on task. Few would argue with that, and even if they did, there is evidence to support the idea that resisting distraction and staying present have benefits: practicing mindfulness for 10 minutes a day, for example, can enhance leadership effectiveness by…

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The Seduction of Inertia

It is often said that there is a relationship between the length of a text message that you receive and the mental stability of the person that is sending the message. Messages that run to only a few words to my mind demonstrate both an understanding of the what the technology is actually for and…

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When Does Work Actually Get Done?

If we’re going to be precise about it, work gets done at 11AM on a Monday in October. At all other times of day, we’re basically slacking from our most productive. Sustaining 8 hours-plus of intense focus year-round is more of a Herculean pipe dream than a reality of the modern day workplace. We come…

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How Big is the Hedge Fund Industry?

Over the past 20 years, hedge funds have gained almost mythic status. Loved and loathed, they are held to be sharply distinct from the broader asset management industry. The fortunes of the best-known firms are followed with great interest. There is nothing that definitively marks hedge fund managers apart from other investment managers, however. Instead,…

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