What makes this story so remarkable is that throughout my early childhood I had ongoing learning difficulties, particularly in mathematics. I struggled to learn the multiplication table, and no matter how hard I tried, I simply couldn’t remember 6 times 7 or 7 times 8.
Many of us like to think of financial economics as a science, but complex events like the financial crisis suggest that this conceit may be more wishful thinking than reality.
Maybe we should teach schoolchildren probability theory and investment risk management.
My mother died of lung cancer last year. I felt helpless. As an economist, I thought, ‘What can I do?’
Great investors need to have the right combination of intuition, business sense and investment talent.
While neurological studies have tried to identify components responsible for fear and greed, the impact on finance is less clear.
Some people might say, ‘Can we afford it?’ I think that’s asking the wrong question… We should instead be asking, ‘Can we really afford not to try?’
Most people are overconfident about their own abilities. That is probably a good thing. But we would be horrified if a physician’s aide engaged in heart surgery.
During periods of extreme fear or greed, you don’t have the proper balance between those two to generate market efficiency and you get extremes in behavior.
It’s important to understand how people perceive risk, and how that translates into investment behavior.
The United States has the most sophisticated financial markets in the world, which does not leave much room to maneuver. But it also offers investors the greatest access to information and the ability to execute trades quickly and efficiently. So it is a mixed bag of opportunity.
Financial crises are an unfortunate but necessary consequence of modern capitalism.
If troubled companies want to explain away 2008 as a ‘black swan,’ then someone should take responsibility for creating the oil slick that seems to have tarred the entire flock!
Ideas percolate. Through natural selection, the best ones survive.
I don’t entirely reject the idea of efficient markets. It needs updating.
The adaptive markets hypothesis says that all economic institutions, like our own species, develop and change over time, depending on the population of investors that are engaged with them.
If you rank the top 50 one-day moves in the S&P 500, a fair number of those happened within the last five or 10 years. That tells you that we’re in a different, riskier market now.
If we are able to allow people to earn a decent rate of return, with sufficient scale, we can all do well by doing good.
Cancer is the great equalizer. Everyone is affected by it either themselves or through loved ones.
More and more investors may be coming into markets everywhere but that doesn’t mean that the markets are really getting more and more efficient, even in the United States. It does mean that there is more access for savvy investors who watch the money flows.