Optimal Behavior

My personal views only, not those of my employer, government, family, or dog. The title is meant to be ironic.

The Business of Emotion

🎶 Feel good, make you feel good, I'm looking for emotion, so I know just want to show you baby 🎶

January 14, 2018

The Law of Reversed Effort

In most areas of life putting in more effort means achieving a better outcome. The harder and more consistently you exercise, the fitter you get. The more hours you put in studying, the better your grades. Of course there are a few, very unusual areas where the opposite rule holds. Aldous Huxley’s called this “The Law of Reversed Effort”: the harder you try, the worse you do. Think of quicksand and finger-cuffs, where success is defined by gentle, slow movements.

October 15, 2017

Visualizing risk, return, and time

Investors usually understand returns. But risk… risk is more difficult. Risk involves communicating not just that many outcomes are possible, but how likely they are. So I’m in favor of anything that gives investors a better intuition of what risk really is. Andy Rachleff’s post on how the standard efficient frontier graph often misleads investors resonated with me. Investors do often have the perception that the highest return portfolio is best, ignoring the risk.

October 2, 2017