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Ph.D.s and Money Management

A recent experiment was conducted involving forty people with Doctorate Degrees. Their Ph.D.s were not in mathematics, but all were in traditional areas of academic endeavor. The doctorates were given a computer game to trade. They started with $10,000 and were given 100 trials playing a game in which they would win 60% of the time. When they won, they won the amount of money they risked in that trial. When they lost, they lost the amount of money they risked in that trial.

How many Ph.D.s made money at the end of the experiment? Two. The other 38 lost money. 95% of these very academically smart people lost money playing a game in which the odds of winning were better than any odds in Las Vegas. Why did they lose?

They lost because of poor money management. For example, if you start out risking $1,000 and lose 4 times in a row, you are now down to $6000. You might be thinking, I am due for a win now. But that’s nonsense since your chances of winning are and will always be 60%!

Even though your chances of winning are still 60%, let’s say you decide to double your bet size since you are due now. You lose again and you’re down 60% now. If you keep thinking you?re due for a win you will soon be broke with any potential recovery vanished.

Good money management is fundamental to avoiding disasters like this one.

Recovering from a draw-down.

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