What bad design can teach us about investor behaviour

Shower controls and Jet Lag I am currently reading a book on design called The Design of Everyday Things by Don Norman. As opposed to the usual sources of reading recommendations from friends, websites top 10s or the ubiquitous Amazon recommendation engine, I came across this book when letting off frustration on google. Let me explain. For a long time, my professional designation was “management consultant”, a profession that gets its fair share of eyerolls and wisecracks, not unlike… “If you see a consultant on a bicycle, why should you never swerve to hit him? It might be your bicycle.”

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Guy Spier’s Eight Rules for Value Investing

I just finished reading Guy Spier’s “Education of a Value Investor: My Transformative quest for Wealth, Wisdom, and Enlightenment“. The author first made news when he and Mohnish Pabrai bid $650,000 for one lunch with Warren Buffett. This book talks about what led to that lunch and what he learnt from it. More importantly, it’s a tell-all autobiography of how he went from the often subtly, sometimes blatantly immoral world of investment banking to setting up his own fund, modeled on the principles espoused by the legendary Buffett. In the process he provides an unvarnished look into the arrogance, hubris and insecurities that stem from

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My three biggest investment mistakes

I have a recurring quarterly google calendar reminder to look at my personal finances and take action where required. This means checking whether I have too much or too little liquidity, making investment allocation decisions around parking money in liquid funds versus deploying in the stock market and finally, a check on the components of my stock portfolio and whether it needs any tinkering. With not much “tinkering” to do the last time, I spent time taking stock of my portfolio performance starting back in 2006. I focused on what went well and also went spectacularly wrong. Thankfully I had more of the former,

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Four reasons why sharply rising markets aren’t a good thing

At a glance Rising markets bring cheer all round – However, there are potential downsides to rapid upmoves – An investor should be aware of the potential downsides in such a market – A perception of loss in investing momentum due to fewer suitable stocks – Bias for action manifesting itself in ill-advised buys or worse, sells – self-serving advisers pushing myriad products – the false confidence of a thanksgiving turkey   Missing the “good old” days This time last year, I was happy with my investing routine. Markets were languishing, inflation and deficits of all kinds (fiscal, monetary, trade) were

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