Posts filed under “Psychology”

The Collective Delusion that is Bitcoin (and All Currencies)

When I first stated traveling for work, I was surprised and amused by the various currencies I saw. Pre-euro, one would encounter a multitude of paper bills of different sizes and colors, each imprinted with a famous man or woman I probably hadn’t heard of.

Imagine that: The locals actually believed these silly pieces of colored paper had value. Sure, paper currency worked as a medium of exchange, and it allowed you to buy goods and services within that society. But how far off was it to observe that this shared belief system was little more than a collective delusion? Take the paper to another land that didn’t share that belief system — they had their own, different delusion — and the paper seemed to be worthless.

That is the simplified version of paper currencies. The real world is obviously more complex. Banks exist, and foreign delusions (currencies if you will) can be exchanged for a fee for the local paper delusion. There is also a nation behind the “worthless” paper, with a standing army, the power to tax and an enormous enforcement mechanism. Perhaps that is the authority that makes our collective delusion seem to be somewhat less deluded.

This brings me to the digital currency, Bitcoin.

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Category: Currency, Psychology

Daniel Kahneman, in conversation with Cass Sunstein

On February 3, 2014, Daniel Kahneman, Nobel Prize-winning author of Thinking, Fast and Slow, spoke with Cass Sunstein, Robert Walmsley University Professor in Spangler Auditorium at Harvard Business School.

Category: Investing, Psychology, Video

What Kind of Investor Are You?

>   My Sunday Washington Post Business Section column is out. This morning, we look at the differences between Outcome or Process focused investors. The print version had the full headline Investing’s smart minority: The process people while the online version Outcome or process — what investment focus succeeds over time?. Here’s an excerpt from the…Read More

Category: Apprenticed Investor, Psychology

When the Consumer is the Consumed

“What you are aware of you are in control of; what you are not aware of is in control of you. You are always a slave to what you are not aware of. When you’re aware of it, you’re free from it. It’s there, but you’re not affected by it. You’re not controlled by it;…Read More

Category: Philosophy, Psychology

Seeing the Big Picture

Robert P. Seawright is the Chief Investment & Information Officer for Madison Avenue Securities, a boutique broker-dealer and investment advisory firm headquartered in San Diego, California. Bob is also a columnist for Research magazine, a Contributing Editor at Portfolioist as well as a contributor to the Financial Times, The Big Picture, The Wall Street Journal’s MarketWatch, Pragmatic Capitalism, and Advisor One….Read More

Category: Philosophy, Psychology, Think Tank

The Economics of Sex

Essential to the mission of the Austin Institute is the dissemination of both thought-provoking and rigorous academic research on family, sexuality, social structures and human relationships. In order to engage a wider audience, we are developing select research projects into a medium amenable to our digital age.

 

 

Published on Feb 14, 2014

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Hat tip NYP

Category: Economy, Psychology, Video

Narrative Rules

After a string of up days, most markets were showing red earlier today. We never know what the daily action of the markets will look like in advance. Whether you want to call it a random walk or the madness of crowds, those of us who toil in the capital markets can rely on no…Read More

Category: Markets, Psychology

Your Ideology Is Killing Your Portfolio

“It’s going to blow up the deficit, won’t create any jobs and will cause all sorts of other problems.” A hedge-fund manager was lecturing me about the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003, better known as the Bush tax cuts. I had been suggesting that this fund close its short positions on…Read More

Category: Apprenticed Investor, Investing, Politics, Psychology, Really, really bad calls

Jeremy Grantham: Mistakes Made Over 47 Years

Jeremy Grantham’s quarterly GMO letter is out. It is a long rambling look at everything from Tesla to Fracking to Fertilizers to Food. But the narrative culminates with how as a young lad, Grantham made a trade based on a neighbor — legal inside information. He explains how that worked out, via his 8 lessons…Read More

Category: Investing, Psychology, Rules

Comparing Generational Lows: 1942, 1974 & 2009

Source: Monthly Chart Portfolio of Global Markets, Bank of America Merrill Lynch     It seems that every 30 years or so, markets make what can be described as a “Generational Low.” We can define this as a capitulatory bottom, one that might be caused by a variety of factors, but usually includes some combination…Read More

Category: Markets, Psychology, Technical Analysis