The Wall Street Journal‘s Jason Zweig has spent his career trying to help investors become smarter about their decisions — through his regular column and book Your Money and Your Brain. He is an astute observer (and interpreter) of human behavior.
This week Zweig wrote a delightful essay, “Norman Mailer and Me,” recounting how, as a 17-year-old, convinced that he was writing The Great American Novel, he sent several of the most eminent novelists in the United States a letter begging them to read his work. The only one who responded was Mailer. Zweig recently stumbled upon Mailer’s letter — in the same bottom drawer in which he had placed it 36 years ago.
While it was interesting to read (and see) Mailer’s remarkable reply, it was a line of Zweig’s prose that caught my attention: “No matter how complicated we think human beings are, we still underestimate them.” Indeed.
Here are some other worthwhile reads, in case you missed them.
— Lauren Foster (@laurenfosternyc) October 23, 2013
- @trengriffin‘s latest post in his series of a dozen things he has learned. This time it’s “A Dozen Things I’ve Learned from Michael Price about Investing.” (25iq)
- What has solving a crime got to do with becoming a better investor? See my colleague @TheIntuitInvest‘s excellent blog post: “Seven Nonfinancial Books That Made Me a Better Financial Professional.” (Enterprising Investor)
- “Six Ways to Separate Lies From Statistics” (Bloomberg)
- “Updating the Yale Model” (Above the Market)
What Jack Bogle says we should expect from stocks and bonds going forward: http://t.co/80B3dcvnhb always great to listen to Jack
— Julie Segal (@julie_segal) October 24, 2013
- “Analysts Beware! A Machine Has Its Eye on Your Job” (Institutional Investor)
- “The Erosive Effect of Expenses on a Portfolio’s Value” (The New York Times)
- “Chaos-on-a-Chip Model Shows Market Bubbles May Be Predictable, Controllable” (Phys.org)
— Lauren Foster (@laurenfosternyc) October 21, 2013
- Public pension funds have been moving huge amounts of money into alternative investments managed by Wall Street. (Bloomberg)
- “Buffett Adds Stocks in Pension Handoff to Lieutenants” (Bloomberg)
- Fun longevity infographic with some interesting factoids. (Guardian)
- “The Counterintuitive Investing Trick That Could Make Or Break Your Retirement” (Forbes)
- Can physicists really spot things that others miss? Physicists and the financial markets. (The Financial Times)
— Lauren Foster (@laurenfosternyc) October 18, 2013
And Now For Something Completely Different
- “Access is not synonymous with learning. What turns access into learning is time and strategic patience.” In “The Power of Patience,” art historian Jennifer L. Roberts explores teaching students the value of deceleration and immersive attention while discussing John Singleton Copley’s A Boy with a Flying Squirrel, 1765. (Harvard Magazine)
- Mark Bittman wrote a though-provoking piece about monoculture (that is, planting a new crop of a single plant each year). “The plow has destroyed more options for future generations than the sword,” Wes Jackson of the Land Institute told him. “But soil is more important than oil, and just as nonrenewable.” (The New York Times)
- Ever walked into a restaurant and you’re the only one there, or maybe just one other table is occupied, and wondered: Should I stay? Tyler Cowen explains why you should eat in empty restaurants. (Marginal Revolution)
- Amazing photos make Hong Kong look like abstract art. (New Republic)
- Some incredible wildlife photographs from the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition. (The Atlantic)
- Writer Neil Gaiman — his many books include American Gods and the comic book series The Sandman — on “The Importance of Reading, Libraries, and Imagination.” (Farnam Street)
Please note that the content of this site should not be construed as investment advice, nor do the opinions expressed necessarily reflect the views of CFA Institute.
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