The Peak and The End

How Event Order and Intensity Shapes Our Memories Photo: Pixabay He was preparing a fire inscription for an Israeli youth movement when he experienced the event that would change his life forever—the magnesium caught fire.  Within seconds, a strong white light filled the room as flames, burning at a few thousand degrees Celsius, engulfed his…

The Privilege of Knowledge

Why We Shouldn’t Take Market History for Granted Photo: Pixabay When George Washington died in 1799, he didn’t know about dinosaurs.  In fact, no one did.  The first dinosaur bone was technically discovered in New Jersey in 1787, but its significance wasn’t recognized at the time and the bone was eventually lost.  A few decades…

You See What You Want To See

On Confirmation Bias and How to Avoid It Is this a rabbit or a duck?  (Photo: Wikimedia Commons) Dan Kahan, a professor at Yale Law School, was interested in understanding how an individual’s beliefs affected their recollection of an event.  In order to test this he had two groups of students watch a video of…

The Evil Hours

On Financial Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Photo: Pixabay Vernon Lamberg had been dead for 8 to 10 hours by the time they found his body in a hotel room in Wautoma, Wisconsin, two hours northwest of Milwaukee.  Five days earlier he had started his Monday like any other.  However, on that Monday, Lamberg would suffer a…

It Can Happen to Anyone

On the Life-Altering Effects of Money Photo: Pixabay It’s Christmas Day 2002 and across the state of West Virginia people are spending money like it is going out of style. But, instead of gifts or eggnog, what are they buying? Lottery tickets. At 3:26 pm the ticket buying frenzy peaks with 15 people buying a $1…

Reps, Reps, Reps

How to Become a Learning Machine Photo: Pixabay He wasn’t born particularly large, but came to physically dominate his sport. He grew up a poor immigrant, but married into American royalty. He couldn’t speak great English, but became a world-renowned movie star. How does a man with little political experience become the governor of one of…

Easy in Theory, Difficult in Practice

On the Difficulty of “Buy and Hold” and the Importance of a Financial Advisor Mount Hood, Oregon (Photo: Pixabay) Roughly 60 miles east of Portland, Mount Hood is the most visited snow covered peak in America. Despite rising 11,240 feet into the skies of northern Oregon, it is considered a “beginner’s mountain” with over 10,000 climbers…

Borrow…If You Dare

On The Dangers of Leverage and the Importance of the Investment Journey Photo: Pixabay I was recently at lunch with Jim O’Shaughnessy, the famed investor, Tweetstormer, and bestselling author of What Works on Wall Street, when he proposed the following investment question: Imagine you have a newspaper from 1 year into the future. On the…

Great Things Take Time

Why Focusing on the Long Term is More Important Than Ever Photo: GoogleMaps Look at the photo above. See that road in the center that cuts through the mountain ridge? The history behind that road is one of the most remarkable tales of human perseverance, yet you have probably never heard it. The story starts in…

Why Winners Keep Winning

On Cumulative Advantage and How to Think About Luck Photo: PxHere In the late 1970s the view in the publishing world was that an author should never produce more than one book a year. The thinking was that publishing more than one book a year would dilute the brand name of the author. However, this was…