Posts filed under “Psychology”

If You Are Reading This, the World Has Not Ended

Predicting the end of the world has always been a losing bet. We were reminded of this once again when Oct. 7 came and went, and the world didn’t go poof.

It was supposed to. That’s according to the eBible Fellowship, a small online religious group whose leaders somehow interpreted the Bible as calling for Armageddon this past Wednesday, courtesy of the recent blood moon and last week’s total lunar eclipse. Never mind that we get a blood moon several times a decade, and there have had hundreds of them since the Bible was written.

There is a long history of end-of-times predictions, and to date, they have an absolutely perfect batting average of 0.0 percent. The utter lack of success of all who make these predictions doesn’t seem to deter others who try to notch a win — assuming you believe that getting the end-of-the-world forecast right is a win.

The Economist has done us a favor and assembled the major end-of-world forecasts. It goes without saying that if you are reading this, the most recent forecast didn’t come to pass.

Given this track record, one wonders why people still make predictions of this sort — or any other for that matter. We have discussed many times why ordinary prognostications by Wall Street strategists and economists are futile (see thisthisthisthisthisthis, and this); a forecast of the demise of the Earth is the sort of thing that looks like a losing bet from the outset (never mind that if you were right, who would know)?

Despite all sorts of adversity, humans have endured 1 million years or so of plagues, famines, droughts, floods, plus plenty of self-inflicted setbacks like wars. Humans are so successful as a species, that we have managed to occupy and dominate almost every corner of the globe.


Continues at:  The World Is Ending? Invest as If It Won’t.



Category: Investing, Psychology, Really, really bad calls

20 Cognitive Biases That Screw Up Your Decisions

Source: Business Insider

Category: Psychology

A Word About Our New Fee Reduction Program

This week we had a few milestones: On Tuesday, we celebrated the two year anniversary of RWM, which launched on September 16, 2013. Second, we announced a new program that will help lower fees for our clients. Costs are something we are very conscious about. We are always looking for ways to keep fees as low as we can,…Read More

Category: Apprenticed Investor, Asset Allocation, Investing, Psychology

Thinking About Fermi’s Paradox

As the story goes, famed physicist Enrico Fermi looked up one starry night, noticed thousands of visible stars and the billions more they represent, and wondered “Where is everybody?” If the physicist knew then what we know today, might he have asked that famous question? Fermi, who died in 1954, certainly missed a lot of…Read More

Category: Philosophy, Psychology, Science, Technology

Jason Zweig’s Rules for Investing

Coming up this week for our Masters in Business podcast, I am sitting down for a conversation with Jason Zweig. One of my favorite books of his is Your Money & Your Brain. Buried within its appendix is a great list of common sense rules that are commonly ignored. Perhaps I can find a few questions…Read More

Category: Books, Investing, Psychology, Rules

Are You a Trader or an Investor?

At the risk of overstating the obvious, there are important differences between traders and investors. Their timelines differ, as do their goals, preferred assets and methods. Yet some of what I have been hearing from members of each group suggests they themselves can sometimes become confused about these dissimilarities. Blame the recent market volatility for…Read More

Category: Asset Allocation, Investing, Psychology, Really, really bad calls, Trading

What If They Threw a Panic and No One Came?

Source: Bianco Research     “Its enough to give a long-term investor some hope for the future of finance.”   Here’s a bit of role reversal for you: Mom and Pop were content to ride out the market’s volatility this past month, more or less sitting tight. Meanwhile, the pros were driven to the point…Read More

Category: ETFs, Investing, Psychology, Sentiment

How to Get People to Care About Climate Change

Remember climate change? For the first time since 1984, the issue didn’t even come up in a presidential debate. But bringing climate change back into our national conversation is as much a communications challenge as it is a scientific one. Scientist Anthony Leiserowitz, director of the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication, joins Bill to describe his efforts to do what even Hurricane Sandy couldn’t — galvanize communities over what’s arguably the greatest single threat facing humanity. Leiserowitz, who specializes in the psychology of risk perception, knows better than anyone if people are willing to change their behavior to make a difference

Anthony Leiserowitz on Making People Care About Climate Change from on Vimeo.

via Yale360

Category: Psychology, Science, Video, Weekend

Why Retail Investors Make the Same Mistakes

My interview with of Rhonda Schaffler of

Category: Cognitive Foibles, Media, Psychology, Video

As Goes Apple, So Goes the Market?

With the stock markets down almost (OMG!) 5 percent from their all-time highs, lots of folks are looking for signs that the bull is dying, if not dead. One of the more portentous omens is the recent decline and volatility of Apple’s stock. Or so it seems. For reasons too numerous to list here, Apple…Read More

Category: Corporate Management, Earnings, Economy, Psychology, Really, really bad calls