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08/14/2014

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Hi Dan,
Yes, I often wonder how many people really fall for such manipulated results. It must work at some level or they would stop doing it. Critical thinking is a must have skill to understand when analysis has been manipulated.

I read the same article from Fidelity the other day and had the same reaction. Talk about a biased study.

Trevor,

I saw a recent interview with one of the founders of a newsfeed site (maybe buzzfeed?) where we said that he spent far far far longer writing headlines that he did writing the supporting articles. Some people call it "clickbait".

But, in a fast paced world some people ONLY read the headlines. Very dangerous.

Excellent article, Dan. Reminds me of my favorite book from 10th grade - How to Lie With Statistics by Darrell Huff, published in 1954. Available on Amazon for under $10, and well worth it.

And remember, data is our friend and a tool, but it is not the answer. That requires original thinking!

"Lies, damned lies, and statistics" - attributed variously to Mark Twain or the British Prime Minister, Benjamin Disraeli. Understanding data and what to do with them is paramount.

I absolutely agree Warren ... it is quite disappointing sometimes when the compensation data is used to "sell" the idea or the article, rather than the other way around.
This reminds me of my former Statistics Professor who used to quote this instance of using averages: if there are 8 women walking together, and 1 is pregnant, DON'T come up with the statistic that 1/8th of all women are pregnant at a given point of time!
Still, all reading is food for thought :-)

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