Kind or Hostile

I was recently listening to the 100th episode of the Michael Kitces podcast with Joe Duran to learn about how Duran used data analytics to help build and scale a $24 billion wealth management firm.  However, it wasn’t the machine learning or the data-driven decision making that stuck with me the most.  It was something Duran said at the end of…

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If You Feel Thankful, Write It Down. It’s Good For Your Health

…..And noting your gratitude seems to pay off: There’s a growing body of research on the benefits of gratitude. Studies have found that giving thanks and counting blessings can help people sleep better, lower stress and improve interpersonal relationships. Earlier this year, a study found that keeping a gratitude journal decreased materialism and bolstered generosity among adolescents. In another study from August, high school…

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1 million seconds is abut 11 days. 1 billion seconds is about 31.5 years. I cannot remember where I heard the example above but it is a wonderful example of peoples inability to understand scale particularly when it involves orders of magnitude change. In part it relates to why people cannot understand why a loss…

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How To Avoid Toxic People

The DSM-5 says that roughly 15% of people meet the criteria for a personality disorder. And most of them are never diagnosed. Now you’re not a psychiatrist and neither am I, so we shouldn’t run around diagnosing people… But we can learn enough to recognize if someone is a “high-conflict person”, reasonably give a diagnosis of “no good for…

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Hazard Versus Risk

As the year draws to a  close on a down note my inbox is full of wonderful end of the year offers promising me that they can save me from the next crash, which is very kind of them. These offers are a mix of divine prediction and the packaging and selling of common tools…

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Some Things To Read Whilst We Stuff Our Gobs

Out-running ‘bad’ diets: beyond weight loss there is clear evidence of the benefits of physical activity Of course there is evidence of the benefits of physical activity but your chances of out running a bad diet are practically zero because to do so you would need to exercise at this intensity for much longer than this…

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Sunspot Cycle and Stock Market Returns

One of the things that is disappointing about technical analysis is its constant default towards superstition and nonsense. This silliness drags the entire profession down and when technicians take umbrage at the way they are viewed they only have themselves to blame. A reader asked whether Charles Nenner, self-described as “the talk of Wall Street since…

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My Last Day As A Surgeon

In May of 2013, the Stanford University neurosurgical resident Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with Stage IV metastatic lung cancer. He was thirty-six years old. In his two remaining years—he died in March of 2015—he continued his medical training, became the father to a baby girl, and wrote beautifully about his experience facing mortality as a doctor and a patient.…

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