Remaining solvent (cashflow is critical)

Too big to fail? Another week, another high-profile corporate collapse reported, this time in the UK construction sector, with the group in question having reported very strong growth in its 2016 revenues to well over £5 billion, growth in its underlying profit before tax, and an increased dividend. How so?… full article

Negativity bias & how to beat it

Faint praise 18 months or so ago I went to a party in Sydney where I met one of the country's best-known economic journalists, and happened to ask him whether he felt news articles with a negative slant or angle were better received overall than those adopting a positive stance.… full article

5 steps to tackling loss aversion

Thrown for a loss Countless casino and coin-tossing studies have concluded that, due to the way we have evolved as a species, we feel the pain of loss far more acutely than we enjoy the sensation of making a gain. Indeed, casino operators know this only too well, which is… full article

Information failure (& 5 ways to tackle it)

Information asymmetry Typically in a transaction one party has access to more information than the other, and this asymmetry can be higher in more complex markets. To alleviate fears of insider trading in the stock market, investors are often compelled to 'follow the smart money' - fund manager Peter Lynch… full article

5 ways to prepare for a complex & uncertain future

Dark side of the moon This week I skimmed an academic paper concluding that in the event of sweeping tax changes home ownership rates would rise from 66.7 per cent to 72.2 per cent, and it brought to mind what Nassim Nicholas Taleb coined the Ludic Fallacy, the "dark side of… full article

Why you should rack up the marginal gains

Going for gold Sir Dave Brailsford infamously took Britain's elite cyclists from also-rans to gold medallists, citing the power of marginal gains as the cornerstone of their success. A sceptic might say that striving for marginal gains could drive competitors so far as to push or even bend the rules,… full article

How to harness herd mentality

Jumping on the bandwagon In the mid 1800s, famous circus clown Dan Rice began to parade on his bandwagon to drum up notoriety for his political ambitions. Noting his apparent success, aspiring politicians sought to join him through jumping on his bandwagon, and by the end of the century bandwagons… full article

How to strive for peak performance

Peak productivity In the post-financial crisis era there is much talk about productivity. On a personal level, you can only be truly productive when your mind & body are in a productive state. It sounds kinds of obvious, but if you're low on energy, slumped heavily in a chair with… full article

Push hard to the tipping point

Critical mass In Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell observed how ideas, products, & messages can suddenly and apparently without warning reach a critical mass, and begin to spread rapidly like a virus. In the right environment, he argued, small actions can have a dramatic impact. When a ritual takes hold it can… full article

Why forecasting fails (but we still need it)

Endless complexity Although never particularly good at it, I was transfixed by playing chess at junior school, a strategic game of potentially infinite complexity and intrigue. Although the starting position is always the same and there are only 20 possible positions after the first white piece is moved (16 pawn… full article