Reblog: How Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle will help you make better investments

As mentioned in my previous blog on the double slit experiment, things can act as both particles and waves at the same time. In fact, it is known that everything in the entire universe acts in this manner. In 1927, German physicist Werner Heisenberg introduced the Uncertainty Principle which states that we can not measure both the position and the speed of a particle with total accuracy. The more accurately we measure one value the more uncertain the other becomes. Heisenberg’s notion can be used to explain a number of phenomena including and not limited to Alpha Decay, which is a type of nuclear radiation and the most common form of cluster decay.

But, how does this relate to investing? Unfortunately, this isn’t going to eliminate all uncertainty from your investments or your business but it will enable you to embrace it and use it in your favour. There will always be uncertainty and risk in everything you do, and it is important not to get caught up attempting to eliminate it all.

The goal of an investor is to reduce risk as much as possible while still making a desirable return. Yet, risk and return are closely related meaning there will always be a degree of risk if you want to make great returns. In fact, there are two kinds of risk, unsystematic risk and systematic risk. Unsystematic risk is also known as “diversifiable risk” and can be reduced through diversifying your portfolio. Systematic risk therefore relates to all other risk such as the kind that comes with the market. This risk can not be controlled and diversifying your portfolio will not reduce this risk at all.

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Reblog: A Few Things I Learned Watching a Hedge Fund Manager Lose $4 Billion on One Trade

Maybe you also followed this story. Or maybe not. But basically a really big hedge fund manager, one of those guys who people quote and probably talk about at Harvard Business School, placed a super big bet on this company called Valeant.

Valeant is a pharmaceutical company trying to cure problems with skin and infectious diseases. They actually also own Bausch Lomb so that means they have a giant eye care business.

This hedge fund manager made a bet that Valeant would keep growing their business, diversifying, and acquiring. He once even called them the next “Berkshire Hathaway.”

This thesis turned out to be wrong. Like really wrong. The company crashed. People started to call Valeant out for jacking up the prices of their drugs. They also were apparently doing some dicey bookkeeping things. Just Google “Philidor Valeant scandal” if you want to learn more about that.

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