Thursday, 12 March 2015

Jeremy Lang: unusual beast?

No, not Jeremy Lang. He's not unusual. Probably not a beast. No, our Jeremy says that TSB is an unusual beast. 'Tyger burning bright, by any chance?' I don't know, man. Personally, I think the firm he works for (Ardevora, co-founded, actually) is the usual beast. 'Unusual, Mikey.' What, Voice? 'It's unusual.' Yes, it certainly is.

Christ. Why did I ... ? / Yeah, see if you can dig this, dear reader(s), about Ardevora: Life is a stream of decisions. Many of these decisions involve uncertainty, maybe, forcing us, and you, to make predictions and confront risky business. It's a good film. Unfortunately, er ... most of us do not seem to handle risk very well. How about you? Cognitive psychologists have found that we easily slip into bias. They've been studying us. Bias happens when we repeatedly rely on the wrong type of information to make a judgement. We don't like doing that. Our investment process is research based and grounded in cognitive psychology. We are not insane. We cannot stress that enough. So ... / We observe the behaviour of three participants in equity markets: company management, analysts and investors. They don't mind. Well, we haven't been caught yet. We attempt to exploit the biases which result from their behaviour. Not our behaviour. We think company management are prone to excessive "risk taking" - their egotistical personality type and remuneration structures give them a skewed view of risk. Bastards! They are out of control. Maybe. But at least they don't spy on people through curtains that haven't been drawn properly. Using the balance sheet and the cash flow statement and the rune stones, no, only joking, as our starting point, tarot cards, yes, we look to exclude any stocks where management behaviour looks excessively risky. So tired now. Thank you and good night.

'What on earth is all that, boss?!' I only wish I knew, man. I only wish I knew. I got four hours sleep last night, you see. 'Oh.' Er, yeah ... it is usual though, and unusually beastly. 'Is it?' No. No.

Okay, that's enough. It really is enough. See you next week, all of you. Good night!