Economics of Manipulation

This guy wrote another book
This guy wrote another book

Interesting interview with the authors of the book “Phishing for Phools” about economic manipulation of individuals by preying on apparent weaknesses or ‘wantability’ and the moral implications of it. When marketers get so good at their job, where does society draw the line between free choice and nanny state?

Is placing the chocolate at eye level of children a morally acceptable behaviour of retailers? Lifestyle design is another one that seems to be very popular, why do all these gurus seem to be selling self-help instead of an actual product?

Phishing for Phools

Will be reading the book shortly and post a review.

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Interview with MITIMco

Unfortunately, it's in Boston
Unfortunately, it’s in Boston

Insight into the process used by institutional asset allocator, the MIT Investment Management company.  Some highlights I found interesting:

  1. They look for younger emerging managers and focus on their process over quantitative returns.
  2. Looking for evidence of those ‘buzzwords’ like discipline and patience. Example being identifying great business and waiting four years to invest.
  3. Turning away capital
  4. LT business planning
  5. Incentives aligned with shareholders. In one case, paying expenses instead of flat management fee
  6. An environment that fosters ‘buzzwords’ like discipline, patience, etc
  7. Generalists for the most part but invests in specialists when needed.

Worth a read! Unfortunately these guys are probably in the minority of asset allocators. If the goal is to have a successful asset management business, it likely comes back to raising assets and sales/marketing.

MITIMco Interview