Notes on a decade

Reading Time: < 1 minute At the start of the current decade … We had a labour prime minister in Downing Street and a democrat president in the white house. The FTSE was at 5400 (today, 7400) the S&P 500 at 1100 (today 3100) and (10 year) gilt yields were above 4%. The largest companies in the world were, Walmart, … More Notes on a decade

The 10 Best FinPod Episodes of 2019

Reading Time: 4 minutes What if I told you that this evening you’d get an audience with some of the greatest founders, money managers, authors, researchers and Nobel prizewinners of all time in our industry? People like Robert Shiller, Rob Arnott, Michael Mauboissin, Ben Inker, Rajiv Jain, Cliff Asness, Ray Dalio and even Jack Bogle? You’d be pretty happy … More The 10 Best FinPod Episodes of 2019

3 Rare Skills That Make Presentations Clear and Memorable

Reading Time: 5 minutes Bad communication is like a tax we all collect from each other continuously, every year, and every day. What can you remember from that hour long presentation you heard this morning? Can you name three real takeaways that have stuck from all the time you spent in meetings and presentations last week? Let’s face it … More 3 Rare Skills That Make Presentations Clear and Memorable

The Four Most Important Things in Investing

Reading Time: 2 minutes “Investing is the perfect example of a complex problem with no known solution. There are no secrets.” – Nick Magguili (Of Dollars and Data) So what really matters most in the volatile, uncertain and ambiguous environment of investing? Better models? Research? Skilled managers? Access to deals? These things can and do matter, and fortunes have … More The Four Most Important Things in Investing

Underrated Skills

Reading Time: < 1 minute Disagreeing well: it’s easy to disagree badly (and agree badly), and we all know the truism that different viewpoints is good, but harnessing dissenting views in practice is so much harder than you think Managing meetings effectively: many companies would baulk at an expense of several £’000, but routinely allow such sums to be wasted … More Underrated Skills

Summer Reading 2019

Reading Time: 3 minutes Realise I’m a little late with this list this year, but here’s what I’ve enjoyed most so far this year … you’ll see I’m showing my normal bias toward non-fiction, and in fact haven’t included any fiction in this list (although I have read some). Enjoy, and let me know what you think Bad Blood … More Summer Reading 2019

How Many Pizzas

Reading Time: < 1 minute How many pizzas would it take to feed your investment committee? Optimal committee/team size is a great question: NEPC’s survey finds most investment committees are 7+ people, but would prefer to be 4-6. Team behavioral expert Harvard Professor Richard Hackman said optimal is 6, definitely not more than 9. Authors Sunstein & Hastie note the … More How Many Pizzas

Better Behaviour by Design

Reading Time: 8 minutes The evidence is undeniable. We all have brains that are set-up to make consistently bad choices when it comes to domains that are complex, ambiguous and unpredictable – like investing. We overestimate our own ability, screen out information that conflicts with our pre-conceived views, we fear losses, and anchor to what feels well known and … More Better Behaviour by Design

The Days are Long but the Years are Short – How to Reflect on a Decade

Reading Time: 4 minutes The end of the year is a great time for reflection, the end of the decade, is the sort of milestone that only comes around a handful of times in our adult life and is special indeed. This is a rare chance – if we choose to take it – to look back, reflect on … More The Days are Long but the Years are Short – How to Reflect on a Decade

Practical tips for thoughtful disagreement

Reading Time: 2 minutes I’ve often said that thoughtful disagreement is one of the most underrated skills. We know we should do it, but we don’t know how, and worse, we’re heavily wired against it through ego and confirmation bias. I listened to this great conversation between Ray Dalio and Reid Hoffman, which contained a ton of useful tips … More Practical tips for thoughtful disagreement

RPI surprises

Reading Time: < 1 minute Quite big news out last week on the future of RPI, in DB pensions-land, amid everything else that’s going on. I’ve seen a variety of conflicting takes on the announcement, but clearly has implications for DB schemes. Here is a helpful reminder of some of the recent background context on the long-running issues with RPI. … More RPI surprises