Posts filed under “Mathematics”


As one of those folks who has spent a lot of time bashing economic and stock-market forecasters (see thisthis, and this), I have no choice but to take issue with an argument made by former hedge-fund manager Jesse Felder, who asserts “that everything is a forecast.” To quote Felder:

Can we please stop bashing forecasters already? There is a small but influential faction of bloggers/financial talking heads out there that love to bash everyone who doesn’t invest exactly along their prescribed investment philosophy which is usually some sort of “passive” methodology, writing off non-conformists to their style as “forecasters” (or, even worse, “active managers”).

This is my favorite sort of debate, one in which I respectfully disagree with someone who is intelligent, credible and thought-provoking.  A good debate makes you reconsider your position, refine your analysis and re-evaluate some of your assumptions.

Felder begins by saying . . .

Continues here



Category: Asset Allocation, Bad Math, Investing, Mathematics

The Amazing Disconnect Between Hedge Fund Performance & AUM

Earlier this week, Greg Zuckerman of the Wall Street Journal pointed out one of the great mysteries of today’s investment landscape: Despite underperforming by a substantial margin, hedge funds keep attracting more investors and assets under management. It is almost as if (to borrow the headline on Zuckerman’s article), “Hedge Funds Keep Winning Despite Losing.”…Read More

Category: Asset Allocation, Bad Math, Hedge Funds, Investing, Psychology

The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Math

Raw Story:

Broadcaster and physicist Brian Cox recently explained why the discovery of the Higgs particle was so amazing.

“We sort of do know what the fuck is going on at some level with subatomic particles,” he said on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast. “If you look to the LHC — the Large Hadron Collider — which is the place where we generate the highest energy, so it is the biggest microscope in the world in that sense, we have an extremely good understanding of the laws of physics at that level, up to and including the discovery of the Higgs particle.”


Brian Cox excitedly explains the unreasonable effectiveness of math


Category: Mathematics, Science, Video

The Odds of Dying in America

Source: The Economist     Previously: You Are Worrying About the Wrong Things (October 22nd, 2014) You Are More Likely to Be Killed By Boring, Mundane Things than Terrorism (May 20th, 2014)

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

Don’t Play Probalities Like the Seahawks in Investing

Last week, I was in Seattle for an event sponsored by the CFA Institute. The trip was booked long before any of us knew the Seahawks were going to defend their championship title in Super Bowl XLIX. Following the Seahawks’ amazing comeback in the NFC Championship versus the Green Bay Packers on Jan. 18, the city…Read More

Category: Bad Math, Investing, Really, really bad calls, Sports

Job Recovery All Oil & Fracking ? Hardly

  “All of the job growth from 2007 to today can easily be attributed to the shale oil fracking situation and the oil Renaissance. If you take Texas and North Dakota out of the data series for job employment, what you see is that we haven’t added any jobs in the United States other than…Read More

Category: Bad Math, Data Analysis, Employment, Energy, Really, really bad calls

As goes early-January, so goes Nothing

Salil Mehta is a popular statistician and risk strategist, who has developed a unique method to teach quantitative techniques. He blogs at Statistical Ideas. ~~~ We’ve started the year with a sizable downward market pattern, which is making market participants think in ill-advised ways.  Eight of the first eleven trading days (S&P 500) were negative.  If…Read More

Category: Bad Math, Data Analysis, Markets

NFP, Inflation & Conspiracy Theories

    Unbelievable jobs numbers..these Chicago guys will do anything..can’t debate so change numbers — Jack Welch (@jack_welch) October 5, 2012     Today’s column is about stupidity. Perhaps that’s overstating it; to be more precise, it is about the conspiracy-theorist combination of bias, innumeracy and laziness, with a pinch of arrogance thrown in for…Read More

Category: Bad Math, Cognitive Foibles, Data Analysis, Economy, Really, really bad calls

About Those Black Friday Numbers . . .

Stories based on Black Friday consumer spending numbers are a holiday tradition. Bob talks with investor and Bloomberg View contributor Barry Ritholtz about the problems with stories based on those numbers.   NPR/WNYC: Source: On the Media

Category: Bad Math, Consumer Spending, Data Analysis, Really, really bad calls

Bad Maths

We live in an era of technological advancement. Whether it’s genomics, nanotechnology or software algorithms, the world is driven by mathematical solutions to complex problems. Yet at the same time, we are surrounded by what I like to call Bad Math. It seems as if the average person has little familiarity with the fundamental workings…Read More

Category: Bad Math, Really, really bad calls