November 26, 2021

Sometimes, for some people, the smart thing isn’t to maximise the probability of success.Sometimes, it pays to do things that are more likely to fail – where you’ll probably lose money or get nothing for you time. If there is the possibility of a big payout. And you’re in a ...

October 29, 2021

TLDR: High-level thoughts. Less relevant to any specific decision, but more about the lenses through which we see the world, which can in turn inform our decisions.In the last year or so, something weird has happened. I’ve become an optimistic person.This is weird for many reasons, including:The fact I’ve spent most ...

August 6, 2021

The books above are fictional, in the sense that they don't exist. (The exception is Luck.) They represent collections of articles from this blog of the past couple of years, collated together by theme.Over the next few months I’m going to share some of these books with you. In doing ...

April 30, 2021

Earlier this year, my wife and I had to make the difficult decision to put down one of our cats.His name was Ta’ke (Tucky). We loved him. He came into our life at a special time of our life. Ta’ke and his sister, Puku, were our “practice babies” before we ...

November 27, 2020

New Zealand has had a pretty good run in relation to COVID-19, especially compared with the rest of the world. After more than three months of being free of COVID-19 in our community, it appeared again. Instead of the entire country going into high-level lock-down, the second time around it ...

July 3, 2020

[I wrote this article in early 2020, before COVID-19. I’ve reflected on my personal predictions and was surprised that COVID-19 hasn’t changed the big picture predictions I have for my own life. Is this the case for you?] I’m fascinated by what the future holds. The many different scenarios ahead ...

June 19, 2020

Low probability events shape our lives, more than you'd think.The probability of being born in the first place is infinitesimal. Every single person in your family tree, from your parents upwards, had to meet and conceive at just the right time for you to exist.It's a wonder we're here.The big ...

May 22, 2020

Remember 2017? It feels like decades ago. There was a time in 2017 when we were wondering whether Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un of North Korea might go nuclear. We may be dealing with a pandemic, but I guess one consolation is that we’re not dealing with COVID-19 while also ...

May 5, 2020

Scarce things tend to be valuable.Sometimes there's no rational reason for this. As Robert Cialdini points out in Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, perceived scarcity has a whirr-click effect on people, and this is often weaponised by marketers and salespeople. A key message: any time something is marketed as scarce, ...

April 3, 2020

I think “risk management” just become sexy. My impression is that most people have been attracted to the blog by the “wealth” part of “wealth & risk”. But if you ask me, I think the “risk” part is more interesting – and important. Dealing with risk involves dealing with uncertainty. ...

October 11, 2019

I love books that swing for the fences. They almost always include things I disagree with. And they’re not the sort of books that will average 5 stars on Amazon. That’s how I’d describe The Last Safe Investment by Bryan Franklin and Michael Ellsberg. It relates to finance and investment ...

September 20, 2019

Trying to predict the future is hard. And in some ways, it's impossible. But it's a valuable exercise. Because in "predicting" the future, we also increase the likelihood that we can shape it. Lately, I've been referring to myself as a "futurist". It's entirely tongue-in-cheek. My most recent, world-changing, hot ...

August 20, 2018

As someone who wants to make better decisions, I’m enjoying the book Thinking in Bets: Making smarter decisions when you don’t have all the facts. It’s written by Annie Duke, who was a successful professional poker player. It turns out that poker has a lot to tell us about making good decisions. ...

October 3, 2017

At the heart of luck is uncertainty. Uncertainty makes life interesting. Uncertainty can involve pitfalls, but it can also create opportunities. This book explores how to manage uncertainty – by maximising good luck and minimising bad luck.  This book is a collection of articles originally published on this blog.  This ...