[Yak] Leaving the party while the going's good
jwb_bos at yahoo.com
Thu Sep 21 13:04:57 CDT 2006
I’m amazed at the discussion that Floyd’s email started. Back in the days when I was a runner (and not an aspiring cyclist) I remember the faded t-shirts that read “life is 26.2 miles, the rest is just details.” I always wondered how close to the truth that was…..
Anyway, my two cents for this discussion. Actually, it’s one cent, and I’m an economist, so trust me, I know :-). When people find out that you’re a finance (assistant) professor, something happens: the party conversation turns to investments, and people try get investment advice. I tend to disappoint them…
Here’s the reason (and it's also the reason I bring this up as a reaction to Floyd’s email and the string of replies): I tell them about the risks of a certain investment, and I tell them about the expected (!) return on the investment. And I make sure they understand both return and risk. But I never tell them what the optimal relationship between the two is. Why not? Well, because that’s a matter of preferences. And there’s no such thing as universally optimal preferences….
Hence: I’ve read your stories on how much you enjoy cycling and on how you try to do so safely with a lot of interest. Learned a thing. Or two, three, more. Maybe Floyd has as well. But personally, I would never go so far as to give “advice” to Floyd on what to do (or judge his decision to stop cycling, which is the same, really). Because that’s a matter of preferences…..
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