Posts filed under “Psychology”
Last month, I spilled a considerable number of pixels explaining why Rupert Murdoch’s Time Warner bid had no significance to whether or not this is a market top.
My short list included complaints of cherry picked data that somehow ignored most of Murdoch’s M&A activity over the past half century; a laughably small sample size of just two; and every statistician’s favorite foible, assuming correlation equals causation, and not a merely random outcome.
We get to revisit that exercise in debunking that silly chart this morning on the news that wily ole Rupert has withdrawn his bid for Time Warner. And just to show how serious he – that his offer is really off the table – 21st Century Fox announced a $6 billion buyback, disposing of the cash that could have used to purchase Time Warner.
Its as if he is saying: “Stop me before I acquire again!”
Forget the M&A news for a moment, and think about the arc of this takeover bid, and withdrawal relative to the claim that the bid itself was proof a top was imminent. What implications does the withdrawal of the bid have?
10 Questions Investors Should Be Asking Themselves Now
A Simple Strategy for Shaking Confirmation Bias Brett N. Steenbarger, Ph.D. One of the most insidious cognitive biases affecting investors and traders is confirmation bias. Once we hold a particular view, we tend to prefer processing information that fits with that view. What’s worse is that, because of our bias blind spots, we…Read More
Lately, I have been hear an interesting type of argument. It is a form of debate that is both disingenuous and dishonest. We will call this the “Can’t Lose Argument,” or CLA. Worse than confirmation bias, it is a money-losing exercise in narcissism. The CLA goes something like this: A data point will be mentioned,…Read More
Regular readers know I enjoy discussing behavioral aspects of investing. The reasons for this are twofold: First, we can’t control the markets, but we can control our own reactions to it (at least we can try). And second, many studies have shown that investors suffer from a behavior gap between what they should garner in…Read More
During the past few months, we have posted a few words here on the quandary that is hedge funds. One such effort was titled “The Hedge-Fund Manager Dilemma,” and it explored the public’s fascination with the hedge-fund crowd. The next, “Why Investors Love Hedge Funds,” looked at why, despite stunning underperformance during the past decade,…Read More
Rob Arnott turned the world of passive index investing upside down. Best known for creating “smart beta,” Arnott creates models weighted b y four factors: Sales, profits, book value and dividends. Market cap is not relevant to him. Funds running Arnott’s models manage about $200 billion dollars in smart-beta strategies. Assets have increased by 59…Read More
Nicholas Epley is the John T. Keller Professor of Behavioral Science at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. He was named a “professor to watch” by the Financial Times, is the winner of the 2008 Theoretical Innovation Prize from the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, and was awarded the 2011 Distinguished Scientific…Read More
When was the last time anyone got good investing advice from the front page of a newspaper or magazine or from a television pundit? That is the question I have been pondering during this market cycle. Whether it is the price of equities or the state of the economy, I have grave reservations about relying…Read More