Valuable takeaways from Professor Daniel Kahneman, one of the most influential figures in behavioral finance

We usually get to see renowned figures on the TV rather than in real life. Like Nobel Laureates it’s more likely for us to hear of their names than get to know them. We might assume such knowledgeable and impactful figures as Nobel Laureates to be difficult to comprehend as their knowledge may be beyond our understanding.

But seeing Professor Daniel Kahneman’s session at the 71st CFA Institute Annual Conference overthrew the misconception; the Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences spoke in clear and easy to understand terms of thought-provoking messages. Here are my valuable takeaways from him.

On planning fallacies and ways to avoid:

  • Whenever there is judgement, there is noise.

  • Algorithms are noise-free and better than human judgement.

  • People underestimate uncertainties the market holds.

  • Optimism is everywhere when people plan.

  • Optimism is a risk.

  • The remedy is a broad view.

  • Take an outside view.

On how to be happy:

  • When there is a problem in life, ask advice before making a decision.

  • People to turn to for advice: people who like you and do not care about your feelings.

It’s wisdom to remember. What do you think?


諾貝爾經濟學獎得主丹尼爾·康納曼教授的規劃智慧

對於一些出名或權威級的人物,例如諾貝爾獎得主,我們甚少有機會與之見面及交談,所以很容易會設想這些學識淵博影響甚廣的人物的知識非我們能輕易明白。然而,有幸聽到諾貝爾經濟學獎得主丹尼爾·康納曼教授的現場分享,打破了我的謬想。

我是在第71屆CFA Institute(特許金融分析師協會)峰會上聽到丹尼爾·康納曼教授的分享的。教授是行為經濟學的權威、諾貝爾經濟學獎得主,與我們分享他的深度智慧時,由淺入深,清晰易明,實在讓我敬佩不已。

說到如何滅少規劃謬誤和作出更好的決定時,教授提出了我們常怱略的一個行為因素—隨機變動性,做決定時,我們的判斷帶有隨機變動性,即是在兩個相同的情況下,我們的判斷可以很不一樣,這種變動性會影響我們作出有誤差的決定。所以如果可行,我們應以機械演算法來替我們作判斷,因為演算法做決定時不會隨機變動,可確保無誤差預測及抉擇。

教授亦提到人們常低估市場的不確定性,還可能過分樂觀,而構成風險。我們應以一個局外的角度、全面的視野來看事情。

當被問到快樂的方法時,教授說遇到困難時,應先問人意見才作決定,應問誰意見呢?那些喜歡你但不把你的感受放在第一位的人。

教授的一席話真讓人獲益良多,你認為呢?

 

A Casual Sound Walk at Kawazu Seven Waterfalls in Izu

During my stay in Izu, I made time for the stunning Kawazu Seven Waterfalls (河津七滝). Located in the mountains above the onsen town Kawazu, the site was of natural scenic beauty. But this time it was more than a feast for the eyes; it was also one for the ears. I was taking a soundwalk along the 1 km long trail past the waterfalls.

A soundwalk is a walk one takes focusing on the sounds of the surroundings. As different from what we usually do, in a soundwalk we pay more attention to what we hear, experiencing the environment through sounds rather than sight. And how a scene sounds like is known as a soundscape. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) also released standards on the measurement and management of soundscape. So this time, I was feeling the soundscape of the Kawazu Seven Waterfalls with what I heard. It was a nice and relaxing walk. When I closed my eyes and listened: it was a symphony of water splashing, gurgling, rushing, gliding through and hurtling against rocks.

Along the trail, we also came across statues from the story of The Izu Dancer by Kawabata Yasunari, Japanese sculptures, a suspension bridge… All made pleasant additions to the walk. If you visit Izu, the Kawazu Seven Waterfalls is a must-go!


日本伊豆之行(下)︰在河津七滝聲音漫步

這次伊豆之行我特意抽時間遊歷美麗的河津七滝,慕名而至,滿載而歸。七滝即七瀑布,位於温泉之鄉河津附近的山上。瀑布與瀑布之間是一條約一公里長的小徑,沿途風景迷人,讓人心曠神怡,但這次不止是一場視覺盛宴,更是聽覺享受,因為此行我不單是郊遊看風景,而是聲音漫步(soundwalk)。

平日我們習慣以視覺來感受外界,甚少依賴聽覺來感受,但視象與聲音都是組成我們記憶和感覺的部分,很難分割開來,聲音漫步讓我們專注聆聽周圍,以聲音感受環境。透過聲音來感受和描述的環境被稱為聲景(Soundscape),國際標準化組織(International Organization for Standardization)近年亦為量度和管理聲景訂立國際標準,可見聲景研究和設計漸趨重要。這次七滝中連接瀑布與瀑布間的小徑是很好的聲音步行路線,沿途有不同特色的聲景。把七滝風光盡收眼底,閉起眼,又是另一番感受︰一場水流的交響樂遠遠近近響起,是水或濺起,或潺潺流動,或穿過或激打石頭的聲音……

沿途還遇見「伊豆的舞娘」裏主角的雕像、日式傳統雕塑、吊橋等等,為途人增添不少驚喜,留下美好回憶。假如你到河津,七滝之景絕對不可錯過!

Greetings from Izu

I am not a fan of driving, particularly overseas.  However, if planning to visit the countryside with multiple stops, I find it more convenient to drive when travelling in Japan, in particular to the countryside when you have multiple stops. Driving in Japan is a pleasure. The toll roads are very nice with service areas and wider roads. The highways in Japan (國道) are equally good and there’s no need to pay tolls. What’s so good about the highways is that they have roadside stations (道の駅), where you can shop for local specialties. The bonus we got this time was the sunshine.

We were on our way to Izu – the onsen village. As there were so many things to see in Izu, I decided to stay in the middle of Izu, where I could decide which part or direction to go. The hotel I stayed in was Izu Marriott Hotel Shuzenji, located up in the hill. We could see Mount Fuji from the room and had in-room onsen. It was pretty chilly though…

I highly recommend this hotel if you look for a quiet night because there are not many restaurants in the neighbourhood. Just a reminder that the room service finishes at 10pm!


日本伊豆之行(上)︰看到富士山美景的室內温泉酒店

如果你在日本近郊旅行,又有好幾個目的地,駕車是比較方便的選擇,加上在日本駕駛是相當愉快的經歷,例如收費高速公路路面寛敞,沿途設有服務區,有餐廳、洗手間、販賣部等等,十分方便。一般國道(國道)同樣方便,除了不用繳費外,亦設有道之驛(道の駅),是與高速公路服務區類似的休憩區,其中商店還賣當地特產。最高興的是,這趟旅程陽光普照,風景怡人。

我們這次是到温泉勝地伊豆。因為伊豆有太多值得看的地方,我決定落腳在伊豆中部,方便我前往不同地方。這次我住在位於山上的伊豆修善寺萬豪酒店 (Izu Marriott Hotel Shuzenji),從温泉房間更可望見富士山,雖然有點冷……

如果你想安靜度過一晚,伊豆修善寺萬豪酒店會是不錯的選擇,因為附近沒有太多酒店。另外温馨提示︰酒店的客房服務在每晚十點結束!

The world’s 1st blockchain-powered trade finance deal

This month saw the exciting news of HSBC and Dutch Bank ING making a commercial trade finance deal using blockchain, which was the first application of this disruptive technology in trade finance. The banks handled the transaction for the US agriculture group Cargill, for a shipment of soybeans from Argentina to Malaysia. The transaction time and paperwork exchange would normally take 5 to 10 days but the technology shortened it to 24 hours.

The transaction was completed on Corda Blockchain, a platform developed by the R3 consortium. The technology substantially cut the transaction time, allowed real-time tracking of goods and documents in a more secure manner, and facilitated instantaneous paper reconciliation. The transaction is a milestone for blockchain application in the banking industry. Let’s see what will come out of it in the future!


全球第一宗區塊鏈貿易融資

匯豐與ING銀行完成全球第一宗區塊鏈貿易融資,是區塊鏈技術首次在貿易融資交易上的應用。這次交易中,匯豐與ING銀行為食品及農業產品製造商嘉吉(Cargill)完成跨國交易,交易涉及以海運把大豆由阿根廷運到馬來西亞,區塊鏈技術把以往需時五至十天的文件往還時間縮短到二十四小時,大大節省了交易時間。

這次的交易在區塊鏈聯盟R3的Corda 區塊鏈平台上完成,不但省時,並且安全地進行實時貨品和文件追踪,以及自動對賬。這次區塊鏈技術應用是該技術在金融業應用的重大突破,為區塊鏈金融奠下一大重要里程碑