Success by Exhaustion

How to Use Brute Force to Improve Your Finances Dettifoss Waterfall, Iceland (Photo: Tim Bekaert) It was January 1969 when the Department of Justice filed antitrust charges against IBM for monopolizing the computer market. Little did they know, the case would drag on for 13 years, cost the Department of Justice $15 million, and result in 2,500…

Follow the Money

How One Simple Rule Can Beat Buy and Hold Investing Photo: TaxRebate.org.uk The problem with being good at sports betting is that most bookmakers learn who you are and refuse to take your bets. Why? Good sports bettors will cut into a bookmaker’s profit, especially when placing larger bets. However, this all changed in 1998…

The Patterns That Weren’t There

Why Signals Are Hard to Identify and What to Do About It Oil Spill in Skagway, Alaska (Photo: Wikimedia Commons) It was the beginning of 1959 and something was not quite right with John Nash. The famed mathematician, who would eventually go on to win the Nobel Prize in Economics for his work on game theory,…

My Favorite Investment Writing of 2017

Plus My Favorite Books I Read in 2017 Photo: Pixabay Outside of Twitter and my email list, I rarely discuss other writers’ work on Of Dollars And Data. However, without these individuals I wouldn’t be even half as good of an investment writer as I am today. Reading the work of others is the most helpful…

When Do You Sell?

The Most Challenging Question in Investing Before you buy your next investment, consider the following question: When do you sell? The question seems easy enough, but I’d argue its the most challenging question for investors. Why? Because it forces you to face off against two of the strongest behavioral forces in investing: fear of missing…

The Double-Edged Sword

Why Some Strategies Can Lead to Both Success and Failure Stavanger, Norway (2017) Take a deep breath. The air filling your lungs is 78% nitrogen and 21% oxygen. A Swedish pharmaceutical chemist by the name of Carl Wilhelm Scheele first discovered both of these elements in the mid 1770s, but he didn’t get any credit for it….

Beyond All Expectations

When Old Patterns Break and How to Think About Financial Data It had been nine days since Volkert Evertszoon and his fellow shipmates had consumed anything other than their own urine. The men were on death’s door as their longboat floated helplessly throughout the western part of the Indian Ocean. Then…a miracle occurred. After washing…

There Are Many Ways to Win

Why A Few Simple Rules Are More Important than Specific Strategies In every laboratory experiment ever conducted between the fire ant (Solenopsis invicta) and the woodland ant (Pheidole dentata), fire ants have overwhelmed and eaten their woodland counterparts. Because fire ant colonies are typically 100 times larger than woodland colonies, the woodland ants never stand…

It’s Not About the Money

On Lifestyle Diversification in Retirement Photo: Flickr The task was simple. Each team was given an envelope and one specific goal: Start a business and earn as much money as possible within two hours using only the money inside the envelope. The problem? Each envelope only contained $5. It was a Wednesday afternoon and each…