Posts filed under “Mathematics”

Six Ways to Separate Lies From Statistics

From Betsey Stevenson & Justin Wolfers, a short primer on separating lies from statistics:
 

1. Focus on how robust a finding is, meaning that different ways of looking at the evidence point to the same conclusion. Do the same patterns repeat in many data sets, in different countries, industries or eras?

2. Results that are Statistically Significant means it’s unlikely findings simply reflect chance. Don’t confuse this with something actually mattering.

3. Be wary of scholars using high-powered statistical techniques as a bludgeon to silence critics who are not specialists.

4. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking about an empirical finding as “right” or “wrong.”

5. Don’t mistake correlation for causation.

6. Always ask “so what?” The “so what” question is about moving beyond the internal validity of a finding to asking about its external usefulness.

Great stuff. I recall something from Carl Sagan on this — I’ll see if I can dig it up.
 

 

Source:
Six Ways to Separate Lies From Statistics
By Betsey Stevenson & Justin Wolfers
Bloomberg View, May 1, 2013   http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2013-05-01/six-ways-to-separate-lies-from-statistics

Category: Bad Math, Data Analysis, UnScience

Model Risk of Risk Models

Category: Credit, Mathematics, Think Tank

How Do Investors Fight Through Market Noise?

Bloomberg’s Barry Ritholtz examines how investors react to big market moves, the role of fundamental analysis in today’s markets and the recent rough road for IPOs on Bloomberg Television’s “Market Makers.”

Category: Mathematics, Media, Video

Why Are So Many Traders Killing Themselves?

This column is not about working too hard, or the dangers of high cholesterol, or lack of exercise. It is about a rash of suicides within the financial community. What this actually means is less certain than the reporting on it might imply. Yesterday, 47-year-old Edmund Reilly, a trader at the Vertical Group, jumped in…Read More

Category: Bad Math

Get Lucky: 5 Years Ago Today

Five years ago today, I made the luckiest market call of my career. A few details and some context first, than an explanation as to why this was so lucky. In 2005, I knew something was amiss in the global markets. The various metrics we track showed that credit had become a full on bubble,…Read More

Category: Bad Math, Investing, Markets, UnGuru

How We Understand Risk: What Kills Us

One of the things that baffles me about people is how they completely misunderstand risk. Lots of my friends panic about things that have no real chance of killing them, but ignore the things that will. This can lead us to make irrational decisions, and sometimes irrational policy. What really will kill us? Watch and learn.

What Kills Us? How We Understand Risk.

Category: Bad Math, Psychology, Science, Video

Global Gross Gambling Winnings = $440 Billion in 2013

Source: Economist

Category: Bad Math, Consumer Spending

How accurate is the groundhog?

Not so good – less than chance, in fact. Approximately 90% of the time, Phil sees his shadow. Records indicate he’s right just 39% of the time — worse than a coin flip. Phil and his ancestors have been doing this since 1887 in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. -Wit & Wisdom  

Category: Bad Math, UnScience

The Plural of Anecdote Is Not Data

Source: Nestler Analytics

Category: Bad Math, Data Analysis, Digital Media, Research

The Graying of America (Or Bad Demography)

I never really liked the classic definition of boomers as those born 1946 to 1964. Its overbroad, and well, wrong. That age cohort should really end in 1959. I see why they Demographers made up that range — its so there is a seamless, artificial flow right into to the Gen X group, born 1965…Read More

Category: Bad Math, Research