Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Behavioural finance

Behavioural finance is a fashionable topic, of course, and an interesting one at the same time. It is useful to be aware, if that's possible at all, of the cognitive limitations of our decision making processes. Yet, I still have to see a useful active behavioural tool for investing - much of those uses seem to be limited to technical analysis.

This video reminded me of a similar presentation by Richard Thaler at this year's CFA Institute annual conference in Orlando. The biggest surprise in that presentation was that XBRL featured prominently in it as an important tool for improving financial decision making.

P.S. This podcast interview with Ariely gave me some food for thought. There is probably a fruitful tension between the rational expectations axiom and what Ariely calls predictably irrational. It can be a rational to expect collective irrationality. 

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