Tag Archives: fear

Your Life Sucks? Here’s Some Good News

Creative Commons -- Flickr

Creative Commons — Flickr

Don’t blame the media. Don’t blame the government. Blame Darwin and the occasional saber-toothed tiger.

We are surrounded by bad news because of evolution. Our brains developed to deal with an overwhelming amount of stimuli, mostly in the forms of threats to our safety and acquiring food and shelter. We watched for bears and worried about our next meal. Good news, quite frankly, wasn’t important.

This affects us today. When you’re on the freeway, do you stop and gawk at the motorist who successfully exits the highway? Or, do we slow down and gawk at the car accident at the side of the road? The media promotes the unusual and trends that threaten us before it shows us the common and trends that benefit us, even though, as we’ll see, there are far more opportunities than threats out there.

I believe this gives us a distorted picture of the world — and, in fact, may keep us mired down psychologically. We focus on the bad and ignore the good. (Although, to play my own devil’s advocate, it may also keep us from being complacent.)

Anyway. This week, I’m passing on links to prove my point.

Good things are happening, even if you believe your life, your world, and your reality sucks.

From Reuters, data indicate growing economic momentum.

There’s good news about job growth on Yahoo News.

Global poverty is shrinking — Pro Bono News.

From working in a sweatshop to being a billionaire, on the Good News Network.

Leukemia cure in one study — may just be the beginning, according to story at ABC News.

Quantum computing researchers are making impressive discoveries, according to one of the companies on the forefront of this new industry.

Exoskeletons can increase worker productivity. That’s from Next Big Future.

3D Printing? Yeah, that’s coming to, says the Wall Street Journal.

And lots more…



Why Emotionless Investing Doesn’t Work

Flickr--Creative Commons

Flickr–Creative Commons

The whole philosophy of using machine learning and artificial intelligence in investing is that machines can make trades quickly and without being burdened by emotions.

It’s the last bit that I’ll talk about today. Emotions — like fear and greed — skew the decision-making processes of the investor, causing him or her to but too high or sell to low based purely on feelings. A good example: you would probably pay more for food if you’re hungry than if you just had a big dinner.

Therefore — and this conclusion is inescapable — machines that do not have emotions can trade better.

Except, this logic is totally wrong. Well, not wrong. But it forgets the most important variable. The market and the economy runs on emotions. Even if every investor was an emotion-less cyborg, the rest of the economy, which underlies all stocks and commodities, runs on desires and emotions.

A successful investment system can not possibly rule out emotions. In fact, the most successful investment system would totally understand emotions, but not ruled by them. This system would understand how desire for something quickly turns to the desire to not lose something — fear. Likewise, it would be able to sense when the momentum of fear turns into a buying opportunity. It could sense that the greed in the real estate market was becoming too frothy, or that the fear of a recession was starting to bottom out.

In short, the best investment system understands emotions. It just isn’t ruled by them.

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The Death of Investing. Long Live Investing!

King Arthur's round table. (courtesy Creative Commons.)

The last decade has been marked–perhaps pockmarked–with extreme volatility.

Even more irksome, the cause of this volatility is out of the hands of most investors. Nobody can predict when religious nuts are going to crash planes into buildings or when politicians decide budgets are for the little people.

The conclusion most financial experts come to is that investing–at least good, old, solid, Buy-It-Like-Buffet-style investing is passe.


Old news.

Done for.


You can’t invest anymore, you have to trade.

Actually, I disagree.

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Human Traders Meet Their Computer Overlords

Photo Courtesy Creative Commons

Humans can do a lot of things better than computers–but that list is shrinking.

Once, investing and trading solely belonged to humans. Computers were number-crunching machines that helped investors and traders make decisions.

Then, algorithmic trading came along. Trading strategies designed and maintained by computers saw more and more action in the market. Although,there were always people nearby monitoring those trades.

Now, computers have taken another step toward mastering the market.

At a recent conference in Barcelona, Spain researchers released their findings that showed computer model trading agents beat human traders and other computer trading systems.

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Personal Development Tips for Increased Success

This is a guest post by Lisa Shoreland, who is currently a resident blogger at Go College. Recently she has been researching international studies as well as paralegal scholarships. In her spare time, she enjoys creative writing, practicing martial arts, and taking weekend trips.

If you’re going to achieve success and financial freedom in life, you need to have a personal development plan. Those who look ahead to the future and project themselves into it with accuracy and confidence are the ones who enjoy real success. Working on your personal development can help you achieve your goals, exercise control in your life, and make the necessary changes to take yourself where you want to go.

Image courtesy of Bill Kuffrey

To start forming a personal development plan, you can use the following tips. They helped me begin to visualize my own future, and they still give me a way to keep track of my progress. I hope they can do the same for you. Continue reading


Will Sears be the Next Facebook?

Huh? Sears and Facebook in the same sentence? Sounds weird, doesn’t it? Well, it’s true. Sears is gunning to be the next Facebook. It is integrating various social networking functionality into the shopping experience.

Sears may have been a boring old company in the past, but it is reinventing itself for the future.

Is this Social Shopping thing a good idea?

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Is Transocean a Good Investment?

In my recent post about BP, I suggested that as soon as people forget about the Horizon accident BP’s revenues could grow and the stock price could come back. So that got me thinking, what other stocks are down at the moment, but could rebound within a month or two?

The most obvious answer is Transocean (RIG), operator of the rig that blew up. I wonder if Transocean’s stock might recover even better than BP’s stock, as BP seems likely to be blamed for the disaster. Since the accident, Transocean’s stock fell from 90 to 45, a drop of about 40%.

Why would anyone buy Transocean stock now?

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Greed Is For Losers

 www.photos8.com @ Flickr

www.photos8.com @ Flickr

You can’t discount rational thought and hard financial figures, but lets face it: emotions and desires create and drive our markets–from baseball card auctions to exotic derivatives.

Even those economic numbers that we all say we monitor are filtered through the lens of emotions.

Of the emotional factors, greed and fear are the greatest contributors–or detractors, as the case may be–to moving the market. Greed can cause booms and bubbles. Fear can cause busts and depressions.

But, when you analyze your trading motivations closely, you might be surprised. Greed is just a twist on fear.

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Seven Emotions Investors Can Do Without


The market is run by emotions. It’s also ruined by them.

Despite what the financial world wants to think–and especially wants us to think–most financial decisions, from the casual investor to the commodities trader at Goldman Sachs, are emotional trades. It’s a gut feeling, or instinct, that prompts the trades.

And, in a way, that’s OK. After all, if most people invest with emotions, that should put you right in the pack of the trading action. It’s when investors become blinded by their emotions that things go awry. They fall behind the pack. They bet too much. They sit on the sidelines too long. They hold when they should fold, and fold when they should hold.

To avoid this, you need to know which emotions are most likely to mislead your investment actions Here are the seven most deadly emotions for investors.

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Automated Trading and Human Psychology

We have seen massive losses in the markets over the last 6 months, and then a big runup over the last few months. People assume that the reason the markets have been going up is that the economy is improving, and the housing crisis is over.

It turns out that economic performance does not directly affect the movement of markets. How is this possible? Because economic performance does not buy and sell stocks. Human beings (and now computers) do. Therefore, market movements are a reflection of human psychology and have no direct relation to economics.

How can a computer possibly make money if the markets move with changes in human psychology?

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