Tag Archives: Bill Dahl

Adaptive Markets – Financial Evolution at the Speed of Thought – by Andrew W. Lo – A Book Review by Bill Dahl

For a scholar who writes of his early life: “In second grade, my mother received a note from my teacher informing her that I might be “retarded”—the term of art in those days—and could use some extra help.” P. 125 — Welcome to a marvelous book by Andrew W. Lo.


 

Andrew W. l.o is the Charles E. and Susan T. Harris Professor of Finance at the MIT Sloan School of Management and director of the MIT Laboratory for Financial Engineering. He is the author of Hedge Funds and the coauthor of A Non-Random Walk Down Wall Street and The Econometrics of Financial Markets (all Princeton University Press). He is also the founder of AlphaSimplex Group, a quantitative investment management company based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

What’s great about this book are several things:

  1. You do NOT have to be a graduate student at MIT to enjoy this book. If you enjoy cutting edge multi-disciplinary insights into human behavior, this book is for you.
  2. This book requires unlearning – for me, authors that do this are rare and invaluable.
  3. This book FINALLY begins the arduous process of integrating the science from a multitude of fields into a coherent thesis: :”A new explanation for the contradictions and paradoxes discovered in the battle between the rationalists and the behavioralists. I call this new explanation the Adaptive Markets Hypothesis.”  P. 185.
  4. The author is a superb story teller with no intellectual ax to grind.  His wonderful heart comes through in the way he writes…it just makes the reading experience vastly more enjoyable. Thank you.The nature of our understanding of economics, finance and human behavior is changing (as it must). As one who enjoys writing and research in this genre, I find, as the author states; “But every time I finished one book, I felt impelled to read another because of gaps or inconsistencies in what I’d just read.” P. 302 Adaptive Markets put an end to this experience for me (although I WILL continue reading!!!).

That’s why Adaptive Markets – Financial Evolution at the Speed of Thought – by Andrew W. Lo  is so darn important. The work is very much an integration of the most compelling scientific findings from a myriad of fields that Lo sutures together in a straightforward and coherent manner. It is also a body of work that will undoubtedly inspire additional research.

Evolutionary biology represents an organizing framework for Lo’s reasoning. I found the framework very illuminating. A few quotes from the book:

“The Adaptive Markets Hypothesis tells us that profit-taking alone isn’t enough to explain market success in organizing human behavior. We’re motivated by fear and greed, but also by a sense of fairness, and perhaps most important, by our imaginations.” P. 417

Just as the human eye is susceptible to optical illusions, the human brain is susceptible to illusions about risk and probability.” P. 62

“Economic rationality isn’t wrong; it’s just incomplete.” P. 200

Financial evolution proceeds at the speed thought, where several generations of ideas can come and go within the time span of a productive working lunch.” P. 231

A financial crisis can be as disruptive to people’s lives as a major war.” P. 320

“This means that culture is also subject to evolution, to the same processes of variation, selection, and replication as a biological species or a mental narrative”. P. 345

There are important interactions between culture and environment, in some cases reinforcing bad behavior.” P. 352.

This is a terribly important work. I hope it will inspire the essential, civil dialog and research endeavors that are currently woefully underfunded to explore the emerging, new frontiers in finance – and our understanding of all the audiences in these environments.

I HIGHLY recommend this superb work.


 

ENJOY!

 

2017 Cascadian Classic – Bend, Oregon

The following are images I captured at the May 27, 2017 Cascadian Classic in Bend, OR (Officially Authorized by Dominic Current – the event Director).


 

The pre-event article I authored can be found here:

There are two photo albums of these images located by clicking one of the following links then go to the SLIDESHOW feature:

Google Link

FLICKR LINK

These are high quality images NOT intended to be viewed on a cell phone. These images are NOT for resale and cannot be used for ANY commercial purpose.  These athletes work VERY hard and make tremendous sacrifices to excel in their sport.

My hope is that these images might inspire others to improve their health, well-being and fitness. I hope you enjoy them.


 

Reading With Children

Jacki and I have the privilege to care for two 11 year old foster boys. The stories of their lives up until this point are simply too traumatic to share (and confidential). One of the boys, could NOT tie his own shoes when he arrived in our home. I taught him. Although in 5th grade, BOTH boys are WAY behind in school academically. One refuses to read at school because he is so far behind. Frankly, he’s ashamed.

Boys Reading

One of the boys required glasses due to vision issues. Of course, we obtained them and he hates them…refusing to wear them – even though he chose them. Thus, we made an agreement – I would read to him at night ONLY if he wore his glasses. Well, miracles happen — every night we now read together – with our glasses on. We pick out our next books to read together on Amazon. His reading tests at school are now “very solid” in terms of progress. He likes to correct me if I skip or mispronounce a word.

The photo on this post is “the boys” enjoying our evening reading time together. It’s the highlight of my day – everyday.

Boys Reading

Invite a child to read with you. It will change your life – and theirs. Oh, the power of story…We finished “Touching Spirit Bear” by Ben Mikaelsen last night. A marvelous book. Next: Ghost of Spirit Bear…


 

Reading with children is not a parental responsibility – it is a parental privilege