Brooke Harrington of the Max Planck Institute will be speaking at the RSA on Thursday 17th April, 1 pm, about the subject of her new book Pop Finance.

Anyone hearing the news reported this morning about hormonal excess leading to bad risk-taking in trading will be interested in this from the synopsis of Brooke’s book:-

One of Harrington’s most intriguing findings is that gender-based differences in investing can create a “diversity premium”– groups of men and women together are more profitable than single-sex groups. In examining the sources of this effect, she delves into the interpersonal dynamics that distinguish effective decision-making groups from their dysfunctional counterparts.

This follows from her study of investor clubs and will intrigue fans of Scott Page, Gerd Gigerenzer, James Surowiecki et al.

That said, when I was in Ohio in January, I was talking with a relative about her involvement in a female investor club and the good returns they’d generated. Her self-reported reasoning for the success was the diverse perspectives the group brought together. My only concern was that they seemed to have a high regard for CNBC commentator James Cramer, whose evolutionary purpose I’m still trying to figure out since first seeing the video below and glimpsing his track record.

It’s advisable to book a place for Thursday’s talk and that can be done here after registering with the RSA website.

I won’t be at the EBDM seminar this evening at Westminster University Business School, as I’ll be saying a fond farewell to my son’s first piano teacher, but it looks like an excellent opportunity to catch up on some more evolutionary thoughts about happiness from the University of Chicago’s Luis Rayo. The talk is entitled ‘Evolutionary Efficiency and Happiness’ and Dan Goldstein and Lionel Page have full details here.

This man was definitely not happy, and my gut feeling is that both his testosterone and cortisol were probably not at optimum levels:-

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