Thursday, June 13, 2019

Alchemy

There are some fields (e.g. physics) where objective facts carry the day. But in fields involving human behaviour, perception is more important than reality. In Alchemy: The Dark Art and Curious Science of Creating Magic in Brands, Business, and Life, marketing executive Rory Sutherland makes a case for why we pay too much attention to logic and not enough to perception when it comes to marketing.

Friday, June 7, 2019

The Art of Thinking Clearly

We think we are pretty rational, but our behaviour indicates otherwise. In The Art of Thinking Clearly, Rolf Dobelli discusses a number of our biases and suggests solutions for staying rational.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

The Misbehavior of Markets

The Random Walk Theory of prices does a half-decent job describing the behaviour of markets in general. But if you want to get specific, it does have a couple of key problems. First, it assumes price changes are independent of each other, which statistical studies have shown to be false. And second, the number of events taking place in the tails is underestimated; the bell curve assumed is far too simplistic for modeling actual market returns.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Neurologic

There are tons of books on human irrationality. I've reviewed many of them on this site! But NeuroLogic: The Brain's Hidden Rationale Behind Our Irrational Behavior is different. The focus is not so much on the irrational behaviour itself, but rather on what's going on inside the brain during this irrational behaviour.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Beazer the Pleaser

Last year, shares of Beazer Homes fell big-time on the expectation that rising rates would kill consumer appetite for homes. So I bought some, as discussed here. Last week, I sold the shares following an appreciation in the stock of over 50%.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Convertible Debentures: Online Again!

In the past, I have found a few gems among the Canadian convertible debentures, including PineTree and Data Group. So it was more than a little annoying that the National Post stopped maintaining their online listings of these securities.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Astroball

On a 2014 cover of Sports Illustrated, Ben Reiter predicted that the Houston Astros would win the World Series in 2017. They did. This is no small feat considering the salaries the large market teams are able to afford, and the armies of data analysts various teams employ in order to garner an edge. In Astroball: The New Way to Win It All, Reiter tells the story of how they did it.

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