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Connecting the Dots

Human beings love stories. But this innate tendency can lead us to imagine connections between events where none really exist. For financial journalists, this is a virtual job requirement. For investors, it can be a disaster. “Needing to create order from chaos, journalists often stick the word “after” between two events to imply causation. In […]

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Seven Ways to Fool Yourself

The philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein once said that nothing is as difficult for people as not deceiving themselves. But while most self-delusions are relatively costless, those relating to investment can come with a hefty price tag. We delude ourselves for a number of reasons, but one of the principal causes is a need to protect our own […]

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The Devil Wears Nada

The global fashion industry is fickle by nature, pushing and then pulling trends to keep hapless consumers forever turning over their wardrobes. Much of the financial services industry works the same way. Fashion designers, manufacturers and media operate by telling consumers what’s in vogue this year, thus artificially creating demand where none previously existed. What […]

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Future Testing

Much financial news purports to be about the future but is really just an account of the past. As a result, many investors project what has already happened onto an imagined future. There’s another way of framing this problem. It’s understandable that investors, with the help of a necessarily short-term-focused media, will tend to focus […]

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