Smile, and move up the happiness curve

Soccer stars & space cadets When our teachers at school asked what we wanted to be as adults, there was always an interesting range of responses, ranging from dream careers (professional sports stars, robot engineers) to those guided by parental preference (usually actuaries or barristers). Looking back, I don't think… full article

FIGJAM and other biases

Luck versus skill (FIGJAM) Too many of us have a natural tendency to believe that we've achieved everything through our own hard graft. It's all too easy to downplay the fortunate aspects of our circumstances (in my case, for example, being born in a developed country, to well-educated parents, who… full article

Predictions for 2020, and how to survive them

Stick around for 2021 I've had a few adrenaline-junkie mates over the years who've been into bungee-jumping in New Zealand, skydiving in South America, or riding the canyon rapids. It's an exciting way to seek stimulation...for them, anyway! On the other hand, I don't have any buddies that are into… full article

Long-term investing with the Lindy effect

The black drop I'm not a boozer these days, but in my early twenties there was never any need to ask me what drink I wanted for the next round...it was always a pint of Guinness, no questions asked! Lots of trendy new ales came and went, as did various… full article

What doesn’t kill you…

Toughen up! When I was a teenager I worked for some years in a timber factory, and the older fellas had hands like you wouldn't believe. While new hires would invariably see their hands shredded with cuts and splinters, over time and as their hands repaired the body would overcompensate… full article

From toxic team to dream team

Toxic and trusting teams We've all come across or had to work with toxic team members or co-workers; perhaps we've even been one ourselves when we were in the wrong role! There are basically only two ways to give people the opportunity to change through direct & honest feedback -… full article

Dusting off the cobwebs

Reaping what you sow My wife hails from a farming family, and has always been conscious of the need to survive the lean years which agriculture tends to throw up periodically. Growing up on the farm, there were some years where the inclement British weather didn't allow for a productive… full article

Actions not words

Joining the queue Ask people what they prefer from their ideal restaurant experience and they'll probably say something like: no queues or crowds, gentle background music, friendly waiters, plenty of space, and so on. But logically, most people either can't or don't seem to do this. Instead we end up… full article

Being approximately right (not precisely wrong!)

Spurious precision One of the big accounting firms got my goat this week when it released house price growth forecasts by capital city out until the end of the year 2021, predicted to one decimal place. Even if you could predict the future of housing markets beyond a decimal point… full article

Small samples & the hot hand fallacy

Extreme outcomes In his ground-breaking book¬†Thinking Fast and Slow¬†psychologist Daniel Kahneman invited the reader to consider why some small, rural, Republican towns in America's South, West, and Midwest might've recorded the highest rates of kidney cancer (perhaps due to the clean-living rural lifestyle, lack of pollution, and access to fresh… full article