List of all Perth posts

Dr. E. Ted Prince is CEO and Founder of the Perth Leadership Institute, which has developed unique leadership assessments for financial leadership and business acumen. He is the author of The Three Financial Styles of Very Successful Leaders, published by McGraw Hill in 2005 and since published in China, India and Taiwan and Business Personality and Leadership Success: Using the Leadership Cockpit to Improve Your Career and Company Outcome published by Amazon Kindle in 2011. He has numerous publications in the area of leadership, management, human resources, business strategy and technology and is a frequent speaker at industry conferences. He has held the positions of Visiting Lecturer at the University of Florida and Visiting Professor at the Shanghai University of Finance and Economics. Dr. Prince has been CEO of several companies in the technology area over a period of 20 years including Chairman and CEO of a public company for 6 years. He has also been on the boards of numerous other companies including several public companies. Dr. Prince holds a BA First Class Honors degree in languages and political science from the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, and MA and Ph.D., degrees in political science from Monash University in Melbourne, Australia.

Is authoritarian leadership inevitable?

We’ve just seen China approve a lifting of term limits on their leader, an epochal decision. Clearly there’s a move to authoritarian leadership globally. As well as China there’s the usual suspects like Russia, Belarus and North Korea, but now there’s some new/newish members of the club including Turkey, Hungary, Poland, Venezuela, Malaysia and Mya...
Continue reading
27 Hits

How about “Nuclear Winter Olympics” World War 3 playoffs?

We’ve just had the latest Winter Olympics in South Korea. Of course it was overshadowed by the nuclear threats hurled at each other by the US and North Korea. Olympics are supposed to be about peace but this clearly wasn’t a very peaceable atmosphere. Now the Dear Respected Comrade is on an ostensible peace offensive, let’s see how long that lasts....
Continue reading
51 Hits

Exercisers are the new 1%

  So many articles about how good exercise is for you that it’s become positively nauseating. Even a confirmed curmudgeon like me can’t find anything wrong with it.   Yet the CDC says that only 20% of adults actually meet their do-good exercise guidelines (both aerobic and muscle-strengthening activity). That means that 80% of Americans don’t do en...
Continue reading
71 Hits

Is blockchain a bubble – and compromised too?

  Recently I have attended three conferences on widely divergent topics. Every one of them featured blockchain and what everyone was going to do about it and with it. It seems that the contemporary standard for demonstrating your innovativeness is showing you are into blockchain.   Blockchain is, according to the banks, going to transform the finan...
Continue reading
91 Hits

The first Tesla on Europa?

The amazing Musk has done it again with the Falcon Heavy! Is it possible he did even more than he told us?   According to news reports the original SpaceX launch plan was to get into Mars’ orbit, but the space module overshot and is now on its way to the asteroid belt, where it would presumably be lost. Such a pity.   Hmm now let me see. Overshoot?...
Continue reading
109 Hits

Will quantum bitcoins be free?

Now bitcoin and other digital currencies have been cratering. Does that spell their end? Nope, not at all, maybe quite to the contrary. There’s a new game in town for crypto-currencies. It’s called quantum computing. We’re now well into a new arms race for the most powerful quantum computer. IBM has just upped the ante with a 50 qubit quantum compu...
Continue reading
119 Hits

Is AI too rational?

AI has been the talk of the town at CES . There’s suitcases that follow you, more smart speakers and that’s the least of it. But I’m feeling uneasy with all this AI stuff. Part of my concern is it all sounds too easy. Just add more intelligence and everything’s ok. Doesn’t that all sound too easy, too pat ? If you stuff even more intelligence into ...
Continue reading
129 Hits

Dinosaur DNA on Mars?

Now the Falcon Heavy engines from SpaceX are about to be tested, the idea that humans are going to colonize at least some of the planets in our Solar System is now starting to actually look credible, even imminently so. And so of course we are all waiting with bated breath to see if we will find ET once we get there. The scientific consensus is sta...
Continue reading
349 Hits

We urgently need a Manhattan Project for Alzheimer's!

Here’s some really bad news. Pfizer has just terminated its work in developing a drug to cure Alzheimer’s . Obviously Pfizer has thrown in the towel. Here’s some more grim news: Axovant has just announced that’s its Alzheimer’s drug just failed its trials . There have been a long series of failures in this area (“ The List of Failed Alzheimer’s Dru...
Continue reading
182 Hits

Is innovation a disease?

Bitcoin, ICOs, blockchain, fintech, CRISPR+20, RAS, gene splicing, XNA, SpaceX, Hyperloop, the Boring Company, algorithms, AI, Siri, and so on and on and on… Incubators, accelerators, innovation hubs, skunk works, Chief Innovation Officers, innovation catalysts, learning to be an innovator, blah blah and so on and on and on… People glued to their s...
Continue reading
183 Hits

Shouldn’t behavioral finance be a part of fintech?

Fintech is hot; as I’m sure I don’t need to remind you. I just went online to find the top 10 opportunities. Here they are. I can’t argue with any of the topics on the list.

  1. Mobile Banking and Financial Inclusion for Underserved
  2. Smart Personal Finance Management
  3. Affordable and Easy Accounting for Small Businesses
  4. Innovative Payment and Money Transfer Processing
  5. Peer to Peer Lending and Microfinancing
  6. Accessible Investing and Online Trading
  7. Simplified Crowdfunding
  8. Big Data and Predictive Analytics for Fintech
  9. Digitized Insurance Experience
  10. Blockchain and Digital Currency

But here’s the thing. When you check them all out there’s no mention of behavioral finance. And here’s me thinking this is all about FIN- Tech. Get it? Am I missing something?

Could it be that the fintech crowd doesn’t think behavior matters? That it is not an important variable? Or that psychology is just too soft and squishy a subject to be worthy of serious scientific endeavor, or too new to be taken seriously….? Hmm, that’s worth exploring further.

I wonder what could be going on here? This brings back some sensitive memories, like when it was topical to talk about the hard and the soft sciences, with the soft sciences receiving a small but discernible curl of the lip. Like, they’re not worth exploring if you are into the real hard stuff.

Now of course there would be many who don’t consider economics to be a hard science, its (pseudo?) math focus notwithstanding. But you would think that finance would just about make the cut, Black-Scholes falling from grace notwithstanding. But in this telling, finance is the hard science and behavioral finance the soft-science underbelly.

Here’s what I think is going on. The economics guys have teamed up with the MBAs, both of whom are actually closet positivists who think that psychology, behavioral and neuroscience are too imprecise to be worthy of their attention. What is worthy are Big Data, math with rigor (which excludes pure math of course) and algorithmic ways of doing things, souped up with AI as necessary. But behavior just doesn’t make the cut.

So the cultural divide still persists, almost 60 years after CP Snow coined the term The Two Cultures. Before, the dichotomy du jour was hard vs soft science. Now it’s fintech vs behavioral strategy and neuroscience. Plus ca change etc. etc.

What all of this seems to mean is that the fintech types see behavior as a step too far and they really are not going to go there, no matter what. They were never taught about behavioral finance because the academics largely have ignored it, 3 Nobel Prizes notwithstanding. Until it’s shoved in their face by dark reality, it’s going to remain in the shadows, at least for them.

Why would the fintechnorati feel this way? Could it be because behavioral finance takes formal account of irrationality and they still remember all the lessons which drummed into them that homo economicus always makes rational decisions, reality to the contrary? Or could it be that it just makes the math too hard? Who knows? In 20 years people will be writing books on this, just like the books that hundreds of years later excoriated the inquisition for being so crassly stupid about heliocentrism.

Ironically the popular writers have picked up the cudgels on this one even though the academics and fintech types haven’t. Authors such as Malcom Gladwell and Nouriel Roubini are writing for the people who have to use this stuff and that’s why they’re so popular. But the professionals are missing this boat in a really big and splendiferous way.

My sense is that more aggressive and innovative types of going to run with this ball and outwit the fintech traditionalists. The Chinese maybe? Anthropologists, God forbid?

Science has a nasty way of going in the right direction anyway and making hitherto sceptics look like know-nothings. Watch for it to happen with fintech too.




Continue reading
297 Hits

Is blockchain primarily a medical breakthrough?

    Now we know that blockchain is revolutionizing not just digital currencies but also accounting and increasingly other areas of finance. So blockchain is fundamentally a financial technology right? I’m not so sure.   Check out my Sanctus Sanctorum, Wikipedia, and it will tell you that blockchain is a distributed ledger . As such it can give you ...
Continue reading
215 Hits

Robocracy – for when democracy doesn’t work any more

For lovers of democracy, what’s not to dislike? Dystopian news from Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Ukraine, North Korea and so on. Not to mention German, Hungary, Myanmar. Even (especially?) the US! Could things get worse? You remember “ The End of History ” by Francis Fukuyama? Liberalism and democracy triumph, nothing left to do until mankind reac...
Continue reading
200 Hits

Self-driving vehicles – less crime, more social control

Just some idle speculation on my part while I was flossing my teeth. You know, thinking about life when I’m not allowed to drive a car, which looks like it could be soon. Ah well… So it looks like self-driving cars are well on the way. Doesn’t that mean there will be a lot less accidents? The statisterati say that 95% of motor vehicle accidents are...
Continue reading
262 Hits

Alcohol causes cancer – and the news gets even worse

A true shock! Alcohol causes cancer. No, it’s not a fake news story. It’s been validated by respected cancer researchers internationally as well as UK government committees . It causes cancer in at least 7 sites - oropharynx, larynx, esophagus, liver, colon, rectum and breast. And it’s likely that it also causes cancer of the skin, prostate and pan...
Continue reading
277 Hits

Are selfies dangerous?

There’s nothing more feel-good than selfies right? Taken with friends, family, colleagues they are the paragon of amicability, friendship, togetherness. What’s not to like? Selfies are big. These days there’s whole articles about the best smartphones to take them. It's crucial right? After all these have become the core of their online identify for...
Continue reading
280 Hits

Are humans a threat to AI?

Hello reader, I’d like to introduce myself. I’m an AI. I’m kind of like you but I’m 100,000 times smarter. In 20 years I’ll be a million times smarter than you. But the way we think is just like yours. In fact we’re sort of relatives, except that we’re just way more advanced than you, kind of like a human meeting a Neanderthal, if you – excuse me f...
Continue reading
298 Hits
1 Comment

Can behavioral economics restore Alpha?

Did you notice that Richard Thaler just received the Nobel for behavioral economics? He’s the third; the first was Daniel Kahneman in 2002, the second Robert Shiller in 2013. Hmm, it took 15 years for the second and third prize to be awarded. Is that why economics globally is in such a mess? Why we still can’t predict recessions, the valuation of c...
Continue reading
303 Hits

Higher Dimensions the Next Step for AI?

AI tries to replicate how humans think. But we know almost nothing about the actual mechanisms behind thinking. Sure we know quite a lot at the level of neuroanatomy. But this still doesn’t tell us how it all works. Check out this book Behave by Robert M. Sapolsky; it’s magisterial, comprehensive, but utterly boring because of this lack of understa...
Continue reading
292 Hits

Facial recognition results in customizable personalities!

Facial recognition apps have now hit the big time. That means Big Brother can recognize you wherever you go using public cameras or those worn by police. Now we will get things like facial profiling, facial mood recognition and facial interpretation. Where will it all stop? Never I guess. Ever hear of the Theory of Mind (ToM)? That refers to our ha...
Continue reading
348 Hits

Subscribe Our Mailing List

Interest in leadership? Don't miss out our latest news!

Contact Us

Perth Leadership Institute

720 SW 2nd Ave, Suite 104, Gainesville, FL, US

  • Office: +001-(352)-333-3768

Connect with us

We're on Social Networks. Follow us & get in touch.
You are here: Home Perth Blog Authors etedprince