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Insight - Making Sense of the Narrative


If we had a blank sheet of paper and a New Year resolution to make better investments in 2024, what would we resolve? We would take out the unforced errors built into the system and achieve what Charlie Munger would term an advantage, not by being brilliant, but by consistently 'not being stupid'. That means weighting portfolios by conviction on return not market capitalisation, recognising that volatility and benchmark 'tracking error' are not good measures of risk to the underlying investor but create perverse incentives for managers of other people's money. It also means taking out the emotional element of investing by building systems to eliminate behavioural biases that will enable us to take better decisions.

Media Commentators don't want to hear what Trump is saying, watch his rallies or talk about his likely policies. But the markets are starting to pay attention.

Behavioural Finance is about trying to take the emotion out of markets and investing, but markets are narrative machines and it is easy to get caught up in a plausible narrative. One way of countering this effect is to look for the emotionally effective but ultimately misleading use of Logical Fallacies. Here we provide a Bingo Card of the 25 most popular examples as well as an illustration of how a combination of Logical Fallacies can build a bandwagon narrative.