A reductive macro-economic framework can manage biases

13 October 2021

Heuristics such as availability bias, herd instincts and extrapolation that get in the way of making the right decision at the right time are the most prevalent at the extremes. When markets are exuberant it is difficult to see – let alone act – against the hubris. When markets are down in the dumps, it is difficult to see past the misery. An example is Covid. Initially, it was a common cold (complacency), then it became a never-ending lockdown and recession (doom and gloom). Now, there is optimism after the stimulus fuelled recovery. Managing these heuristics is even more important when investing in emerging markets, where so many of our impressions of what is happening on the ground are coloured by opinions of different media outlets with their own respective filters. So why is it so hard to manage our behaviour biases? It may be because heuristics are so genetically programmed into us as humans that none of us can quite pull ourselves free from the gravity. In the age of rising geopolitical tension, fake news and social media silos that reinforce our base instincts at every turn, this can move us away from the true north. How do we centre ourselves in reality? A reductive macro-economic framework may be the answer, helping centre our qualitative assessment and decision-making using high “signal-to-noise” ratio data that tell us what is really happening in economies and market sentiment.

Presentation (35 mins) | Slides

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