About: Joachim Goldberg

Recent Posts by Joachim Goldberg

DAX-Sentiment: Careful What You Wish For

This is not exactly the correction investors had in mind 5 February 2013. FRANKFURT (Börse Frankfurt). Although investors had prepared themselves for an equity price correction last month, we suspect they have imagined it little differently to the way it unfolded. When one thinks about what a future correction might look like, the tendency isContinue Reading

DAX-Sentiment: A Sober Start to 2014

Investors could hardly wait for the New Year to sell 8 January 2013. FRANKFURT (Börse Frankfurt). Three weeks make for a stretched comparison when one looks at the results of what is typically a weekly sentiment survey. Yet that is how long it has been since Boerse Frankfurt last sounded out domestic professional investors forContinue Reading

DAX-Sentiment: Fully Loaded

Investors’ late play on a Santa-Claus Rally 11 December 2013. FRANKFURT (Börse Frankfurt). This is second consecutive week in which members of Boerse Frankfurt’s sentiment panel have had to judge the DAX index against a backdrop of week-on-week declines. This time, the dip is a little meatier: 1.4 percent. It appears all the more grimContinue Reading

The Manipulators are Among Us

In my previous blog I described how, if we are not careful, randomly-occurring reference points manage to hijack our decision-making. The case concerned a would-be stock market investor who wondered whether one could still buy the German DAX even though it trades at a new record high. He was obviously desirous to buy, but myContinue Reading

Are You Really in Control of Your Decision-Making?

It is typically when stocks markets are at record highs that investment strategists on financial television are asked the question: “Can investors still get in?” Of course, those who have accepted the invitation to appear are often those who are already long; those who missed the move, or who are short, tend to have busierContinue Reading

DAX-Sentiment: No Profits to Take

Year-end reference points fuel bullishness 27 November 2013. FRANKFURT (Börse Frankfurt). Sharing one’s opinion of the German DAX index ought to be an increasingly pleasant task for domestic equity investors; in each of the past eight weeks, the blue-chip index has either been higher or unchanged compared to where it stood on the prior week.Continue Reading

Blackout in the spotlight

Have you ever had one of those blackouts? One of those moments when you suddenly have no idea what is going on, what is up and what is down? I had one just recently. I stood, pre-dawn, in front of my dressing room mirror and couldn’t remember how to knot a tie. I tried leftContinue Reading

Cudda shudda wudda

‘What’s going on?’ I thought to myself when the price of bitcoins leapt beyond $900 this week. It had increased four-fold since that drizzly Thursday afternoon two weeks ago when I tortured myself over whether I should buy some at $220. If only, just for once, I had ignored my gut instinct and listened toContinue Reading

A Century of Investment Lessons

Why didn’t anybody tell me before? Had I been aware of a 2012 study by Credit Suisse and the London School of Economics I might have been better prepared for swift evaporation of inflationary pressures currently taking place around the globe. The study investigated the degree to which major asset classes protect against inflation andContinue Reading

Bitcoin Mania

I only narrowly missed it. I finally decided to activate my account at the bitcoin exchange Mt.Gox last Thursday so I could buy some of this virtual money. All I had to do was to submit my credit card details and a scanned copy of my passport (what could possibly go wrong?) and I couldContinue Reading

DAX-Sentiment: Draghi Delivers a Windfall

Investors will jump through a flaming hoop, but not twice 13 November 2013. FRANKFURT (Börse Frankfurt). Buying stocks at record high prices is a challenge for even the most disciplined investor. Buying stocks at record prices after one has spent months convinced about the vulnerability of the equity market requires no less than a HerculeanContinue Reading

Have a Safe Trip

Me: Well, I’ll see you in three weeks’ time. I’m going on holiday. Her: Where are you off to? Me: Somewhere warm, Israel. Her:  Israel? I s r a e l? Me: (Puzzled expression) Her: Really? Israel? Me: Yes really, Israel. Her: Why Israel, of all places? Me: Why not Israel? Her: I mean there areContinue Reading

DAX-Sentiment: The White Swan

Domestic investors position themselves for the year-end rally 6 November 2013. FRANKFURT (Börse Frankfurt). Volatility has been eerily absent on the Frankfurt bourse since the previous sentiment survey. After arriving at a record peak one week ago, the DAX index has basically just sat there; the week-on-week change is just one-tenth of one percent. LikeContinue Reading

Are We There Yet?

Companies are trying to cut costs everywhere these days, even if this means delivering a worse service. This, at least was my impression on a recent vacation to Tel Aviv. Formerly, Lufthansa would use much larger aircraft on this route. These days, it uses the same aircraft on a four-hour international flight as it doesContinue Reading

Thou Shalt Not Buy Positional Goods

Over the course of four blog posts on the subject of positional goods, I have perhaps given the impression there is not much positive to say about them. Some readers might have been tempted to say: What is the point of all that stress? Why join in this daily rat-race where everyone is battling toContinue Reading

The Positional Rat-Race

In recent blog posts, I have explored the difference between positional and non-positional goods, i.e., those goods whose ownership confers some social status on the owner, and those that don’t. As people attach a great deal of importance to how they rank in social comparisons, there is a tendency to sacrifice non-positional goods in favourContinue Reading

House-Hunting with Economists (Positional Goods III)

Not all goods satisfy the conditions to be classified as ‘positional’. One essential characteristic of a positional good is that it must be comparable with other goods, which means it must be easily recognisable and measurable. Just consider the good we call ‘income’ with the one we call ‘leisure’.

The ‘Positional’ Economy is not a Zero-Sum Game

To measure the value of a positional good, one shouldn’t look (only) at the price tag. This is because these goods are desirable principally for what they say about their owners’ social status. If someone owns something that everyone else in a group wants but cannot have, the owner can demonstrate a higher group status.

My Horns Are Bigger Than Yours

I couldn’t help but smirk when Robert H. Frank made this bold prediction[1]: in 100 years’ time, economists will predominantly regard Charles Darwin as their spiritual father. Today, economists would probably point to a figure such as Adam Smith. So for Frank, an economist himself, to predict such a striking switch in allegiances is quiteContinue Reading

And the Winning Number is 00000001

Certain things labelled with the number 1 are often very sought after. Vehicle registration plates come immediately to mind. If that is not available, particular series of numbers, or repeating numbers, are also well-loved. Who wouldn’t like to have 7777 7777 as a telephone number?  It looks rare and exclusive. One might even consider itContinue Reading

Trickle-Down Dog Food

The whole family took their seats around the breakfast table. It didn’t take long before our little pug scurried beneath the table and began chomping on some non-existent morsel. “What’s he making so much noise about?” I asked.” “He’s hoping that something tasty comes his way,” my daughter replied. Indeed, the chances of a crumbContinue Reading

DAX-Sentiment: German Angst

Headlines have changed, but scepticism hasn’t 18 September 2013. FRANKFURT (Börse Frankfurt). If we define ‘bullishness’ as a score on the Cognitrend Bull/Bear-Index above the average of the year, domestic professional investors have not been bullish on the DAX since early July. At that time the market was recovering from its early summer swoon andContinue Reading

The Swift ARE Those That Can Endure It

I’ve done a fair bit of battle with the bulge in my time. I’ve deployed all kinds of diet plans; done a few sorties armed with yoghurt and powder; and gone over the top with WeightWatchers, Low.Carb and Low-Fat. There were times when I made great progress. But if I added up all the kilosContinue Reading

For Whom the Church Bells Toll

It is no secret that people tend to draw a malign pleasure from witnessing the fall of celebrities who previously laid claim to high moral standing. It is particularly enthralling when those exposed sinners are supposedly in God’s service and, better still, when money is involved.

Doubtful Culture Change IV

How tiny indiscretions can grow into large sins, without provoking any feelings of culpability or shame, is the subject of my final article on corporate cultural change and behavioural ethics. The gradual erosion of moral standards often begins with a very small act, like taking a pen home from the office. It continues with aContinue Reading

Doubtful Culture Change III

My previous post discussed the hopes for a shift in corporate cultures – in particular, in investment banking – and concluded with an introduction to behavioural ethics, a new discipline that among other things should help us all to make more ethical decisions. This is sorely needed because practically every enterprise today bases its ethicalContinue Reading

DAX-Sentiment: ‘Unchanged’ gains in popularity

Investors are convinced not much will happen with the DAX 4 September 2013. FRANKFURT (Börse Frankfurt). Politico-economic journalists have emerged from the summer’s ‘silly season’ with some earnest news stories to report on: evidence of quickening economic recovery in the major economies; a currency meltdown in some emerging markets; monetary policy shifts in the pipelineContinue Reading

Doubtful Culture Change II

Under public pressure, politicians have been provoked to draft some new regulations to prevent a re-occurrence of the financial crisis. For example, banks are now required to be more transparent vis-à-vis their clients and banker bonuses have been capped. This latter seems to have been born more out of a duty to do something, thanContinue Reading

A Doubtful Culture Change

The underbelly of the financial sector has shown itself to be far less than pristine since the outbreak of the global financial crisis. With fraud, manipulation and insider trading to its discredit, it seems as no manner of dirty dealing was beyond the scope of some bankers. However, the shame does not reside only atContinue Reading

Counterfeit Social Status

Sidetracked, a new book by Harvard professor Francesca Gino, got me thinking about my recent holiday in Venice. I can hardly imagine there is anywhere else in Europe where tourists are offered so many counterfeit handbags. Whether it is a fake Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Prada or Gucci, it is there in varying degrees of reproductionContinue Reading


Recent Comments by Joachim Goldberg