Saturday, March 23, 2013

Reiterating Simplicity: stop deceiving yourself

Is there any easier way to say something intelligent than by quoting Buffet & Munger? So let them speak:
I have no use whatsover for projections or forecasts. They create an illusion of apparent precision. The more meticulous they are, the more concerned you should be. We never look at projections (Warren Buffett)
Projections are put together by people who have an interest in a particular outcome, have a subconscious bias, and its apparent precision makes it fallacious. They remind me of Mark Twain`s saying "A mine is a hole in the ground owned by a liar". Projections in America are often a lie, although not an intentional one, but the worst kind because the forecaster often believes them himself. (Charlie Munger)
Evoking the storytelling discipline, there`s a little story that says a CIO was presenting a M&A proposal to the key management and the board of directors. He made a very detailed slideshow, full of premises and sensitivity analysis. Being harshly questioned by his audience, he gave up by saying: "Ok, fellas! The deal doesn`t make any sense! I just need to beat the street`s growth estimates and earn my bonus!"

Remember, the more simpler, the more fairer. If you can`t explain it in plain straightforward language, there`s a chance you are deceiving even yourself.

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