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Occupation: Blogger

Interests: Stocks

About Me:

I'm a UK based technologist (career) and psychologist (academic) with a long-term interest in financial markets, with a particular emphasis (and skill) in how to not make money out of them. When I'm not working or blogging I'm to be found childminding, walking the dog or hiding in the garden shed with a good book :)


Investment Strategy

Long-term, boring, stock based investing


Blog

A Sideways Look at Psychology and Finance

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Timarr's Latest Blogs

Back to the Future As you'll know the Psy-Fi Blog spends a lot of time pointing out to a (largely disinterested) audience of investors that there's a huge amount of psychological research out there that we can use to guide our investing behavior. In fact there are vast reams of the stuff, far too much for me to ever even summarize, let alone analyse. But…

One of the more thoughtful regulators around is Andrew Haldane of the Bank of England whose speech “ The Dog and the Frisbee[1]” from 2012 remains the touchstone for anyone wanting to appreciate the reasons that modern economics has made a mess out of understanding the real world.  To boil the whole thing down to a single statement: you can’t control a complex system with…

It’s an axiom of standard economics that you don’t get above average returns without taking above average risks. No risk, no reward.  It’s an appealing idea, an extension of the entrepreneur's creed: you don't become successful without taking chances.  It’s a meme that’s gone viral, an idea that permeates discussions about investment, drives hard headed analysis and leads us to celebrate the risk taking achievers…

“I made up my mind to be wise and play carefully, conservatively. Everybody knew that the way to do that was to take profits and buy back your stocks on reactions. And that is precisely what I did, or rather what I tried to do..... They say you never grow broke taking profits. No, you don't. But neither do you grow rich taking a four…

Death or (um ... ) Death Apparently the ancient Babylonians would, at the start of each year, promise to pay off their debts and return stuff that they’d borrowed, like the lawnmower (or, as we would refer to it, the neighbor’s goat). As we saw in On Incentives, Agency and Aqueducts  they had good reason to be cautious as the punishment for theft was death.…



Timarr's Latest Comments

Have you noticed how companies are quick to blame exchange rate movements when they reduce profits but rarely see fit to mention this as a factor when they flatter them? It's part of a more general pattern where success is down to the skill and judgement of managers and failure to factors outside of their control. And it's a nonsense, of course, currency movements are…

Hi Ed, yeah there's quite a lot of stuff around about how more data doesn't improve prediction. In fact one study suggests that more data would allow us to make better stockmarket predictions than using a simple rule, but only if we had 500 years worth - for the same shares. I wrote about that recently in The Turkey Illusion. Simple heuristics very often work…

Hi Mark All too true, unfortunately. Back in Roman times architects were made to stand underneath their structures when the final scaffolding was removed ... but I suspect that you're right; our financial systems are so complex they'll always fail so we shouldn't assume we can ever prevent the failures, and concentrate on how we mitigate the problems when they occur. But I think the…

Hi Phil I imagine it's this ... http://www.investegate.co.uk/brainjuicer-group--bju-/rns/agm-statement/201405120700177853G/ The sharp rise in the BrainJuicer share price during 2013 and early 2014 will likely lead to a much higher share based payment charge in 2014 than would otherwise have been the case. We anticipate a total charge of around £1m for share based payments and related National Insurance payments. The comparable charge for 2013 was £0.3m.…

Hi Paul Arguably that's a survivorship bias effect. It's hard (impossible probably) to become very wealthy with a highly diversified portfolio so the people who are the most successful investors will tend to be very concentrated. Unfortunately that's a bit like looking at Richard Branson and deciding that becoming an entrepreneur is the way to become a billionaire. It is, but the odds against succeeding…

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