October 6, 2014

Recent articles that I found interesting and made me think.

Learn Math or Get Left Behind

Every now and again, events occur that cause me to shake my head in dismay at people’s math skills. When the weather forecast is a 90 percent chance of a sunshine, and it rains, that doesn’t mean the forecast was wrong; rather, it was one of those cases where the low probability event occurred. Some people seem to believe that 90 percent and 100 percent are the same. Obviously, they are not.

Recall model assumptions before jumping to conclusions

I have written numerous times in this space about the importance of examining your assumptions before taking any action on quantitative research.

A lot of the best traders (at least the ones I know) use some kind of mechanical rules in their trading. “Mechanical” implies that the rules are based on some kind of objective rules, usually quantified data. The trader should follow these rules exactly without hesitation or emotion. In this respect mechanical trading is the complete opposite of discretionary trading.

The Success Equation: Untangling Skill and Luck in Business, Sports, and Investing

In most domains of life, skill and luck seem hopelessly entangled. Different levels of skill and varying degrees of good and bad luck are the realities that shape our lives—yet few of us are adept at accurately distinguishing between the two. Imagine what we could accomplish if we were able to tease out these two threads, examine them, and use the resulting knowledge to make better decisions.