Long Cast Advisers website. I like to make as few decisions as is possible and react less than possible to short-term changes in cost. However, as the largest single customer in the company, I feel it when stock prices decrease. And when they are doing, as they’ll inevitably, I increase my research to try to better test the hypothesis, because I want to make sure I’m not missing anything while taking advantage of the opportunity to buy more.
Thinking concerning this, I’m reminded of an excellent article Not long ago i read in my alumni publication about the physicist Andrew Ewald’s focus on metastasized cancers. I recommend the entire article but this paragraph blew me away alone. “He reconfigured his microscopes to image a huge selection of positions in quick succession while residing in perfect focus.
And he replaced the light filters. Microscope designers typically enhance their instruments’ resolution by blasting an example with as much light as possible. But light that bright kills cells. Ewald says. “Then the sample dies.” He required a different tack: He carefully led the scope’s light beams to make each photon do more work.
He were able to supercharge his quality while keeping light levels low enough for cells to survive indefinitely. He published software that made the microscope have a picture every 10 to 20 minutes for 100 hours. The technique is called by him 4-D confocal microscopy-the fourth dimensions being time. What an extreme and extraordinary amount of work first identifying a problem then testing different solutions.
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It got me thinking about how traders test a hypothesis related to an investment idea. All public investors have access to self-reported financial information released quarterly; macro-economic information published regularly by the government (and supplemented by private sector service providers); and their own abilities to reason. These are good primary resources to help form a hypothesis. We likewise have gain access to through Seeking Alpha, Sumzero, VIC, et al. ’s views on a stock. And of course, the most expedient little bit of information is the stock price, which is the aggregate of what everyone considers essentially.
There is value to knowing what everyone else believes, but it often acts more as a “bias creating machine” when compared to a “hypothesis testing machine”. I recently fulfilled a PhD psychology student at Stanford who told me: “There’s lots of human mistake out there, that’s for sure,” which really is a nice way of stating something most of us probably question every once in awhile.
It reaches the heart of my belief that the marketplaces, theorized as a competent method of price finding as often amplifies individual error just. If you want to do much better than the crowd, you have to do different. With nearly two decades of investment experience, and a foundation of healthy skepticism, just a little irreverence and a lot of humility, I think it is possible to sustainably and do much better than the masses repeatedly.