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
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
Reading Time: < 1 minute A fantastic piece by the great Morgan Housel. Four reasons why complexity sells – Working through complexity feels like real work, while simplicity feels like an easy walk (too easy?) Length superficially signals effort and thoughtfulness (flawed thinking that is not challenged often enough) Things you don’t understand create a mystique around people who do … More Why Complexity Sells
Reading Time: < 1 minute The answer, according to Mercer ‘s Asset Allocation Survey is 6-8 ish if you are an institution below 1bn, and 13+ above 1bn. I’d say that’s consistent with my experience too in that 1bn tends to create a breakpoint where governance resources step up to cater for portfolios with more managers. But even with 6-8 active (plus … More How many managers does it take to …. ?
Reading Time: 2 minutes Body-Mass Index (BMI) can be helpful in giving an indication of whether someone is overweight, at risk of developing negative health effects and can give a clear call-to-action to make changes from a dietary or exercise perspective. However, take BMI to extremes and you end up concluding that the Rock, and at least half of … More All Models are Wrong but Some are Useful
Reading Time: < 1 minute There is an important concept in software development called Technical Debt. Technical debt is incurred whenever a quick fix is implemented that solves a problem but not in the most long-term optimal way form the perspective of the whole system. When you are building something fast, trying to get it working and ship it out, … More Technical Debt
Reading Time: 2 minutes I had the pleasure of being invited to present to actuarial students and local professionals at Queens’ University in Belfast on the subject of current issues in investment, and careers in investment consulting. I took the opportunity to give an overview of the global asset owner universe, talk through the portfolios of some of the … More An Evening with Actuaries in Belfast
Reading Time: 2 minutes A strange thought occurred to me the other day, hear me out on this for two seconds. Perhaps Defined Benefit Pensions are showing us a way forward in the future? I had just finished reading the excellent Stories from 2045, which as I summarise here contains many angles on the theme of managing (successfully or … More Universal Basic Income is DB v2.0
Reading Time: < 1 minute I recently posted the following to Linkedin and it received over 20,000 views and over 250 likes. There are a lot of correlation geeks out there! I think it also shows the appeal of dynamic data visualisations, and I think its a shame that standard packages such as excel do no cater to this. Dynamic … More A Lot of Love for Correlation!
Reading Time: 5 minutes My beachside reading on the recent winter trip to Australia was the excellent “The Undoing Project” by Michael Lewis. Obviously when it comes to Michael Lewis expectations are high, both for the quality of the writing and depth of the research behind it. This is no exception. Some of the specific elements are familiar but … More Books – The Undoing Project