Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Another Day, Another Quote

HT Alea, I liked the two last paragraphs of "Market Analysis" very much :
In the late 1980's, the psychologist Paul Andreassen conducted a simple experiment on MIT business students. (Those poor students at MIT's Sloan School of Management are very popular research subjects. As one scientist joked to me, "They're like the fruit fly of behavioral economics".) First, Andreassen let the students select a portfolio of stock investments. Then he divided the students into two groups. The first group could only see the changes in the prices of their stocks. They had no idea why the share prices rose or fell, and had to make their trading decisions based on an extremely limited amount of data. In contrast, the second group was given access to a steady stream of financial information. They could watch financial news on television, read The Wall Street Journal and consult experts for the latest analysis of market trends.
So which group did better? To Andreassen's surprise, the group with less information ended up earning more than twice as much money as the well-informed group. Being exposed to extra news was distracting, and the "high-information" students quickly became fixated on the latest rumors and insider gossip. (Herbert Simon said it best: "A wealth of information creates a poverty of attention.") As a result, these students engaged in far more buying and selling than the "low-information" group. They were convinced that all their knowledge allowed them to anticipate the market. But they were wrong.

See you?

BTW, we have moved to the downside from the June range, I mentioned last Friday. However, I have not decided yet ...

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