Our Brains Are Hardwired To Cause Us To Make Poor Investments

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Matt Hall, author of the new memoir-manifesto, Odds On: The Making of an Evidence-Based Investor and President and Co-Founder of Hill Investment Group notes there is not a single brain on earth that is naturally wired for making smart financial decisions.

We’re Not Wired to Be Good Investors

By Matt Hall

There is not a single brain on Earth that is naturally wired for making smart financial decisions.

We have spent countless generations figuring out how to survive, relying on things like instinct, quick reactions, and fight or flight reactions. If you’re fighting against a bear in the wilderness, that’s a good thing. But when you’re wrestling with a turbulent Wall Street market on a computer screen? Not so good.

Did you know that when you lose money on the stock market, it feels to your brain the same way you would feel a snakebite?

It’s a simple story of the how world around us is changing faster than our brains. Investing well takes a long-term strategy and a working understanding of market forces and fluctuations. We aren’t born knowing how to navigate things like mutual fund fee structures.

Want to outsmart your brain? Put 95% of your money in an index fund and sit back while it beats most mutual funds. Create hurdles to keep you from reacting emotionally. And get someone to keep you accountable. We get trainers to help us work out, and it turns out our brain needs a trainer too to invest well.

Evidence Is the Key to Investment Success

Odds On: The Making of an Evidence-Based Investorisn’t just another investment advice book. It’s a memoir, a manifesto, and a guide to the way investing should be. Odds On describes author Matt Hall’s role in an ongoing revolution in the investment world: the shift from a traditional sales-driven, active-management model to a model that draws on academic evidence to better serve the real interests of investors.

Matt’s story begins with his first exposure to Wall Street, where he becomes disillusioned with the traditional investing model due to its inability to truly help clients. He stumbles into the emerging evidence-based investing world, and learns how to help investors reach their goals through methods that reflect the limits of our abilities to predict which investments will deliver the highest returns.

Matt’s unique approach to investing is built on a dual foundation of knowledge and purpose: knowledge gained through evidence-based strategies involving research, data, and logic, and purpose gained by personal reflection on what money and success truly mean. In Odds On: The Making of an Evidence-Based Investor, Matt’s storytelling makes financial topics truly relevant and easy to understand, while his investment philosophy offers readers a chance to move beyond decisions based on anxiety and confusion, and manage wealth in ways that lead to greater success and a richer life.

Odds On: The Making of an Evidence-Based Investor


“This is not a book…it’s a gift to every investor who has ever wondered if there is a better way!”
 -Carl Richards, The New York Times “Sketch Guy” and author of The Behavior Gap 
“I picked up Odds On and couldn’t put it down. Matt Hall is a great storyteller, and his discoveries about how to build real wealth in the overwhelming world of finance make common sense. The sports world has been changing rapidly due to better information, and now I know the same revolution has been taking place in the investment arena.”
-Jeff Luhnow, General Manager, Houston Astros 
“Investing can be scary, but it really shouldn’t be. Matt Hall tells his personal and professional story in a way that draws readers in and encourages us to ask what we want from our money. Wealth for its own sake is boring, but wisely stewarded, it can do great things.Odds On is about figuring out how to make those great things happen.”
-Laura Vanderkam, author of I Know How She Does It, 168 Hours, and What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast 
“Odds On follows the personal journey that sparked a professional epiphany for investor Matt Hall, and he gives us every reason to change the way we invest our hard-earned money. With this one-part memoir and one-part call to action, Hall pokes holes in the traditional Wall Street model of money management and humanizes the idea of evidence-based investing as a solution.”
-Julie Macintosh, author of Dethroning the King and award-winning journalist
“Successful investing often comes down to having a strong philosophy you can stick with. In Odds On, Matt Hall shows how more than fifty years of modern finance have provided insight into how financial markets work. Investors who develop and apply a strong philosophy based on these principles can improve their odds of long-term financial success.”
 -David Booth, chairman and Co-Chief Executive Officer of Dimensional Fund Advisors 

Matt Hall is the President and Co-Founder of Hill Investment Group with offices in St. Louis, MO and Houston, TX. He is the lead on all strategic matters — crafting the firm’s vision, establishing its exceptional standards, and managing key relationships. Hall is forever a student of his craft and has attended the highest level of training and education tied to investment theory and practice. What’s more, Hall has led many training programs for top advisors, and founded a peer group of hundreds of advisors, called Evidence-Based Advisors, from the U.S., UK, New Zealand, Australia, Belgium, and Canada.

Hall graduated from the University of Missouri, Columbia with a bachelor’s degree in English literature. He and his wife, Lisa, have a young daughter who is the star of their lives.

Odds On: The Making of an Evidence-Based Investor

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