Jun 16, 2009

More Behavioral Finance, please!

Apparently this is what is happening in the CFA curriculum. For those of you who never heard about the CFA, it is a global association that "sets the standard" in terms of ethics, education and excellence in the finance profession, providing a certification as Chartered Financial Analyst to those who pass all three required six-hours exams (and who have also cumulated 48 months of working experience before taking them). As far as I know, all people who work in the city have to take it, and your company pays for it. It is very stressful but somehow mostly a refresher for a person with a good bachelor in finance.

The first time I met Behavioural Finance in my life was when a friend of mine, when I was doing my bachelor studies, exploited in his thesis the idea of using the formula one races to analyze movements in the stock market prices of car companies. I thought the idea was interesting indeed and fun, but people (some stubborn economists) were laughing at him. Ok, maybe his results were a bit shaky, but still the implications for an investment decision were more clear cut to me, than a look at the present value of expected future stream of dividends....There is something true in both views I think, and it's somehow telling how these professionals are ready to meet "demand among clients to talk about behavioral finance now”. Anyway, this is to say ideas are good, while the dominance of a paradigm is necessarily bad, and that if you have a fun idea like my friend had, times are ripe to get a phd out of it...

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