How not to be dumb money

6 min read

Why believe a title that says I’d know how to tell dumb from smart money? Because I’ve been both and learned from financial scars accumulated since 1987. I’ve also taught a behavioral investing course called “The History of Human Financial Stupidity — Including Mine”. I had no shortage of my own dumb money cases to give students. In Liar’s Poker Michael Lewis defined Wall St as a system designed to transfer money from the weak to the strong. Inserting dumb and smart money into this definition makes sense. My dumb money cases have certain features in common. So do the…...

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RigaWriter I\'m a NYer living in Latvia since 2005, after living in Italy from 1989-2005, Spain and Catalonia in 1976, 1980-81 and 1986-87, southern France the summers of 1985 & 1986 and Portugal in the Carnation Revolution summer of 1974. Conversational Russian and Latvian are my 6th and 7th languages. I did channel check research for one hedge fund and a Wall St research firm from 2009-12 and taught Behavioral Investing, Entrepreneurship and History at Riga Business School from 2012-16. Title of my investments course: The History of Human Financial Stupidity--Including Mine. From 1998-2007 I invested in real estate in Latvia and Estonia. Since 2015 I\'ve invested 7 early stage startups, none of which have yet failed, but some of which inevitably will. Best trade: shorting 20m JPY with spot and options trades on FXY in early 2013 Worst trade: long yield-trap MLPs in 2015 My wrestling match with The Great Humiliator: ongoing.

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