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Pragmatic Capitalism

Practical Views on Money, Finance & Life

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Don’t Get Trumped in 2017

The holiday parties are over and I’ve recently awoken from a white chocolate sugar cake induced coma to think back on the many investing discussions I always get bombarded with at this time of year. While I was attempting to win an award for mass carbohydrate consumption I was repeatedly interrupted by people who seem to… Read More

The Best Value Vacations this Winter

My general view on foreign exchange is that no one can really predict the short-term movements of currencies.¹ They are zero sum games with fairly high frictions with so many moving parts that they’re virtually impossible to predict. So trading foreign exchange is usually a bad decision.  There’s one exception to this – foreign travel.… Read More

Did the Failure of Orthodox Economics Contribute to Trump’s Win?

Here’s a provocative piece from the Institute for New Economic Thinking declaring that orthodox economics has been dealt a “mortal blow” by the Trump victory. Sanjay Reddy writes: “Trumpism is a crisis for the most prestigious methods of understanding economic and social life, ennobled and enthroned by the metropolitan academy of the last third of… Read More

A Lesson from the Market’s Overreaction to Trump’s Win

There were many dire predictions about the stock market in the wake of Donald Trump’s victory. These predictions even looked credible in the moments after his win when the S&P 500 immediately collapsed 5% on the evening of the election. Then, miraculously, the S&P 500 bounced right back and is up about 2% since election day.… Read More

Curating a Social Media Feed to Make Better Decisions

One of the most common problems in economics and finance is the fallacy of composition. The fallacy of composition occurs when you fail to understand the entirety of an argument. As an example, a common fallacy of composition in finance includes the cash on the sidelines myth. The cash on the sidelines myth is the… Read More

Understanding the Art of Doing Nothing

Most of what we end up doing in our lives is determined not by what we decide to do, but by what we decide NOT to do. In the course of any given day we decide not to do millions of things. Eliminating all of these actions results in a direction that determines how we… Read More