Life & Money: Algorithms Versus Real Life

Life & Money: Algorithms Versus Real Life

March 04, 2022

Humans don’t fit into an algorithm.

This is particularly true when we’re talking about humans and their money.

“Humans + Money” is a messy little cocktail that economists refer to as a complex adaptive system. It’s complex because cause and effect can only be identified with the benefit of hindsight, and it’s adaptive because our interaction with the system changes it.

Try cramming that into an algorithm.

As much as we would all love a simple formula to tell us what to do with our money, the more we try to fit the big money questions into a neat little box, the more we find ourselves saying, "It depends."

The only way to navigate in a complex adaptive system is through constant course corrections. Assess, guess, act, repeat.

Of course, the cycle rate for these steps is driven by the volatility of your situation. If the situation is relatively stable, you may only cycle through every six months. But when things blow up, you may be cycling through your financial decisions every day.

Life, markets, and money are messy. So make yourself as adaptable as you can. The important thing is to remain flexible.

Humans don’t fit into an algorithm, so don’t try.