Yes, the journey matters

Reading Time: 3 minutes Your standard finance textbook gets it wrong, or at least doesn’t tell you the full story. Three investors, three different paths of return this year (orange, green, blue). But assuming they start and end at the same point (I know they don’t quite), who feels best? And why? Which is the best investment? Simple question … More Yes, the journey matters

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

Why Complexity Sells

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

How many managers does it take to …. ?

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 …. ?

All Models are Wrong but Some are Useful

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

Technical Debt

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

An Evening with Actuaries in Belfast

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