Why willpower is overrated

People with a lot of self-control — people who, when they happen upon a delicious food they don’t think they should eat, seemingly grin and bear the temptation until it passes — have it easy. But why? For a long time, the thinking was that these people are good at inhibiting their impulses. That they…

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Want to Get Wisdom?

Crowds of humans can be very good at solving certain kinds of problems. If, for example, you wanted to guess how many bacteria live in Lake Erie, you’d be better off asking a random group of people and averaging the result than trying to answer the question alone. But what if you could be your…

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CT’s New Toy

CT barged in my front door and made a bee-line for my chocolate supply. After getting his fix, I noticed he had a curious glint in his eye. “Have you checked your letter box today?” he nonchalantly asked. I dutifully loped out of my front door… and… What the HECK was this? In the driveway…

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Traders Amnesia

Traders are often afflicted by many psychological maladies, foremost amongst them is their remarkably short memories. This is particularity true on the sell side of the industry where those flogging various products seem to have the attention span that is worse than a goldfish. Allied to this is the basic thickness  some people have when it comes…

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How Active Managers Are Fighting Back

In a world where investors are flocking to dirt-cheap index funds and comparatively low-cost smart-beta and quantitative options, active managers are under intense scrutiny to outperform — and earn their heftier fees. To that end, they’re looking to a slew of new tools, including portfolio analytics software, to help them gain an edge in the…

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Bayes and Deadweight

The quality of your life will, to a large extent, be decided by whom you elect to spend your time with. Supportive, caring, and funny are great attributes in friends and lovers. Unceasingly negative cynics who chip away at your self-esteem? We need to jettison those people as far and fast as we can. The problem is, how do we…

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A Work In Progress

At the end of each year I have a ritual. LB and I write down what we consider finds of the year. These finds can be anything from a new place for lunch, to a new person who has entered your lives to anything in between. The only requirement is that it made life better…

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All Ordinaries Weekly Returns

Having just done this exercise for the US market I thought I would repeat it for the All Ords. There are a few things that stand out out. 1987 was a major pullback the likes of which have not been replicated, not even by the GFC. The local market is prone to periods of pullback…

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The Bleeding Obvious

In trading there are a few givens and most of what actually passes as investment knowledge is either myth, crap that someone has pulled out of their arse or a combination of both. However, there is one fact that is incontrovertible – markets go up and markets go down. It has been this way since…

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Do Alpha Males Deliver Alpha?

Apparently not… Abstract Using facial width-to-height ratio (fWHR) as a proxy for testosterone, we show that high-testosterone hedge fund managers significantly underperform low-testosterone hedge fund managers after adjusting for risk. Moreover, high-testosterone managers are more likely to terminate their funds, disclose violations on their Form ADVs, and display greater operational risk. We trace the underperformance…

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Yale’s Most Popular Class Ever: Happiness

NEW HAVEN — On Jan. 12, a few days after registration opened at Yale for Psyc 157, Psychology and the Good Life, roughly 300 people had signed up. Within three days, the figure had more than doubled. After three more days, about 1,200 students, or nearly one-fourth of Yale undergraduates, were enrolled. The course, taught…

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Magical Thinking Thinking Malarky

One of the most interesting things about natural phenomena which have a clear scientific explanation is that they tend to bring out the nutbags in the world. I was sitting in the lounge at the airport and LB was reading to me all the crap that was on social media regarding the recent super blue…

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