Money GPT – this can change your financials

The financial theories that have shaped the investment world.” In our recent discussion, we delved deep into the world of finance, market behavior, the power of perception and most importantly the controlled narrative. We have triggered these highlights with the help of a great book that encapsulated these themes and offered valuable frameworks into the financial landscape.

Featured Book of the Week: Title: “The Alchemy of Finance” Author: George Soros Genre: Finance, Economics

George Soros, Reflexivity Theory, British Pound GBP, Investment Theory

Discovered Achievements and Pivot Points in the Life of the Author:

  • Georges Soros, the Alchemist of money is the founder of the “Quantum Fund,” one of the most successful hedge funds in history.
  • He famously shorted the British Pound, earning $1 billion USD in one day, challenging the Bank of England’s monetary policies.”
  • Philanthropist with a focus on promoting democratic governance, education, and public health.

The Main Message of the Book: Understanding and analyzing market behavior is key to making informed decisions. The book delves into the concept of “Reflexivity” in markets and how markets participants’ perceptions and actions can impact “Objective Reality” as they are taking actions in the marketplace, hence the importance keeping a the “Feedback Loops” in check. “Our discussions were so enlightening that we decided to extend our conversation over two sessions.”

“This theory, central to Soros’s investment philosophy, challenges traditional financial theories and provides a fresh perspective on market dynamics.”

What It Means:

Reflexivity, in the context of George Soros’s financial theories, refers to a feedback loop where actors in a market cannot base their decisions purely on an objective reality because they are themselves shaping that reality. In other words, the actions, and thoughts of participants in a market both influence and are influenced by the market’s movements.

Message of “The Alchemy of Finance” a Book and George Soros Investment Philosohpy


  1. Objective Reality: The fundamental, underlying factors that should theoretically determine market prices (e.g., a company’s earnings, assets, and liabilities).
  2. Subjective Reality: The perceptions, beliefs, and actions of market participants, which can diverge from objective reality.

The Feedback Loop:

  • Market participants’ actions, based on their perceptions (subjective reality), impact the market, changing the objective reality.
  • This new objective reality then influences participants’ perceptions, leading to further actions.
  • This loop can reinforce itself, leading to exponential market movements that diverge significantly from what would be expected based on fundamentals alone.

How to Apply It:

Understanding Market Behavior:

  1. Identify Feedback Loops: Look for situations where market participants’ beliefs and actions are significantly impacting market prices.
  2. Analyze Divergence from Fundamentals: Determine how far market prices have diverged from underlying fundamentals and consider the potential for correction.
  3. Consider Psychological Factors: Consider market sentiment, herd behaviour, and other psychological factors that can exacerbate feedback loops.

Investment Strategy:

  1. Contrarian Investing: Consider going against market sentiment when it appears to be excessively driving prices away from fundamentals.
  2. Risk Management: Be aware of the potential for significant market corrections when feedback loops unwind.
  3. Adaptive Strategy: Continuously reassess the market situation, understanding that feedback loops can change rapidly.

Case Studies:

1. The 2008 Financial Crisis:

  • Feedback Loop: Rising house prices led to increased borrowing and lending, further driving up house prices.
  • Reflexivity Application: Recognizing the feedback loop and the divergence from fundamentals (house prices vs. underlying asset values) could have allowed investors to anticipate the eventual market crash.

2. The Dot-Com Bubble:

  • Feedback Loop: Speculation drove up technology stock prices, leading to more investment and further price increases.
  • Reflexivity Application: Observing the feedback loop and the extreme divergence from fundamentals (stock prices vs. company earnings and assets) could have signalled the impending bubble burst.

3. Soros Breaking the Bank of England:

  • Feedback Loop: Speculation against the British pound and the UK’s economic vulnerabilities led to a devaluation of the pound.
  • Reflexivity Application: Soros observed the feedback loop and the divergence from fundamentals (the pound’s value vs. the UK’s economic situation), successfully betting against the British pound.
“The Alchemy of Finance” and “Intelligent Investor” must be in every financial savvy and Portfolio Manager library

Excerpts from “The Intelligent Investor” Book, Benjamin Graham: To explain the power of “Narrative Control” we used the experience from the “intelligent Investor” how investor buy their stocks like they buy perfumes. “Graham’s philosophy emphasizes the importance of analyzing a company’s intrinsic value and not getting swayed by market sentiment.”

Then we grounded it with common narratives:

Channel perfume’s pricing is influenced by market demand and the story of a client who wanted to invest all their money immediately.

Bitcoin’s Worth: Driven more by narrative and perception than intrinsic value.

Benjamin Graham: The Pioneer of Value Investing

Benjamin Graham, often referred to as the “father of value investing,” was an esteemed economist, professor, and financial analyst. Born in 1894, Graham’s contributions to the world of finance have left an indelible mark, shaping the investment philosophies of countless individuals and institutions. He introduced the world to the concept of value investing, emphasizing the importance of analyzing intrinsic value, understanding financial statements, and maintaining a margin of safety.

As per “Benjamin Graham” – People buy stocks like they are buying perfumes. while they must by them like they do their tomato’s. Value investing is core strategy to acquire good assets in blood markets;

Scientific Principles: The concept of “Reflexivity” and its impact on market behavior. The importance of feedback loops and analyzing divergence from fundamental values. These divergences create the opportunities for great gains.

The Audience’s General Experience and Understanding: The book resonates with both novice and experienced Investors, offering insights into market behavior, investment strategies, and the psychological factors influencing financial decisions. The community agreed on the critical importance of “raising sound financial acumen” to support us filter the noise and build the right habits for our personal financial resilience.

The Benefits: the community gained a deeper understanding of market dynamics, the importance of diversification, and the role of personal finance to secure the resilient future.

Meeting Discussion Summary: The meeting touched upon several topics related to market behavior, personal branding, and the importance of genuine engagement on social media platforms. The discussion also highlighted the significance of understanding market sentiment and herd behavior in making informed investment decisions.

Understanding Market Behavior:

Markets are not always rational; they are influenced by the collective perceptions and actions of participants.

Recognizing feedback loops can provide valuable insights into potential market movements.

Value vs. Perception:

While intrinsic value is fundamental, market perception can drive prices away from this value, creating opportunities for investors.

Importance of Diversification:

Both reflexivity theory and value investing emphasize the need for a diversified portfolio to mitigate risks.

Adaptive Investment Strategy:

There is no one-size-fits-all approach. Investors should be flexible and adapt their strategies based on market conditions and emerging trends.

Power of Narrative:

Narratives and stories can significantly influence investor behavior. Being aware of prevailing market narratives can offer a competitive edge.

Financial markets are characterized by their volatility and unpredictability

Psychological Factors in Investing:

Emotions, biases, and herd behaviour play a crucial role in investment decisions. Self-awareness and emotional intelligence are key to successful investing.

Continuous Learning:

The financial landscape is ever evolving. Continuous learning and staying updated with the latest theories and practices are essential.

Balancing Theories:

While Soros’s reflexivity theory offers insights into market behaviour, Graham’s value investing provides a foundation for analysing individual assets. A balanced approach, drawing from both theories, can lead to more informed investment decisions.

Importance of Risk Management:

Regardless of the investment approach, understanding and managing risks is paramount. Both Soros and Graham emphasize the significance of risk assessment in their strategies.

Community and Collaboration:

Sharing experiences, insights, and knowledge with a community, like the book club, can provide diverse perspectives and enhance individual understanding.

Key Takeaways :

  1. Formulating an Investment Thesis: Emphasis was placed on crafting a lucid hypothesis and setting objectives. This serves as a compass for investment choices, aligning with overarching financial aspirations. The thesis should commence from macroeconomics, narrowing down to micro aspects, and then to the specifics of the targeted asset. This encompasses its fundamentals, price dynamics, and the market disparity between objective and subjective valuations, fortified by the feedback loops from market stakeholders.
  2. Diversification: As a bedrock of risk management, diversification’s role in dispersing risk across diverse assets was underscored. A recommended cap of 33% exposure to any single asset class was suggested.
  3. Continuous Monitoring & Adaptation: The ever-shifting financial terrain mandates periodic oversight and prompt recalibrations to strategies, ensuring the harnessing of opportunities and risk mitigation. For a deeper dive, consider our newsletter, “The Financial Impulse.”
  4. Leveraging Opportunities: While leverage can bolster profits, comprehending its inherent risks and judicious application is pivotal.
  5. Understanding Market Cycles: A steadfast buy-and-hold tactic may not always be the golden rule. Discerning market rhythms and asset flux can pave the way for astute investment choices.
  6. Feedback Loops in Finance: The pivotal concept of feedback loops in financial arenas was broached, drawing analogies with Soros’s legendary stance against the British pound.
  7. Global Perspectives: The discourse spanned a gamut of themes, from the clout of leaders in molding public sentiment to the machinations of propaganda and the ascendancy of nationalist waves globally.
There isn’t a tangible compass to guide your financial choices. Instead, a robust decision-making process serves as the cornerstone of your investment strategy, providing stability amidst turbulent markets.”

Mohamad’s Thoughts: “In the evolving world of finance, staying informed is critical. ‘The Alchemy of Finance’ serves as a guiding light, illuminating the complexities of market behavior and investment strategies”.

The Razor-Edge Approach: Soros vs. Graham

In the realm of finance, two giants stand tall with their distinct philosophies: George Soros with his “Reflexivity Theory” and Benjamin Graham with his “Value Investing” approach. While at first glance, these theories might seem at odds, a razor-edge approach allows for a harmonious blend of both, optimizing investment strategies based on market conditions. We will be delving into the depth even further in the future session.

Quote to Remember: “Market value is not always a reflection of intrinsic value; it’s often driven by narrative control and participate perception” – Mohamad K. Mrad

Mohamad k. Mrad

The Financial Engineer

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