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April 2011 Commentary

Behavioural Finance Conference: A twitter experiment 11th April 2011

Badge Last week I attend the Behavioural Finance Working Group (BFWG) conference at Cass business school. I had found out about the conference via the Behavioural Finance group on LinkedIn, several members of the linkedin group were attending so it seemed like a good opportunity to update my knowledge and network with like minded people.

Simon Pearse had posted a message in the Linked in discussion asking if anyone would be tweeting for those who could not attend. I decided to give it a go and along with Brij Malkan (@brijmalken) tweeted snippets from the conference using my twitter name @CashAdviser and the hash tag #bfwg.

It was an interesting experience. To try and pick out the key points of a paper or presentation and then present them intelligibly in just 140 characters was a challenge. Neither of us managed to tweet about the Key Note address given by Neil Stewart, which was entitled "Abandon Utility, Weighting and Discounting Functions". This was a ground breaking presentation that described a series of field experiments that threw classical theories out of the window and used Decision by Sampling as an explanation. We were so busy concentrating on the presentation that there was no time to tweet about it.

The conference succeeded in meeting both my goals. I met some interesting and knowledgeable academics and practitioners that were all passionate about behavioural finance. Much of the published research until recently has been US based and so it is good to see so much research being undertaken in a UK and European context. The topics that were presented were engaging and had been researched to give practical results.

Download the twitter conference summary

What is Behavioural Finance?(from the BFWG website)

Behavioural finance is a topic that has gained considerable attention in recent years. It studies the reasons behind human behaviours, and the implications of those behaviours for multiple aspects of finance. As such, it is a truly interdisciplinary field at the cross section of finance and psychology, whilst also being related to economics and sociology.

The Behavioural Finance Working Group (BFWG) was established in January 2008. It is led by Professor Gulnur Muradoglu at Cass Business School. The Group aims to:

  • Facilitate interdisciplinary work by integrating finance, psychology, sociology and economics
  • Promote the field of behavioural finance
  • Facilitate interaction between academia and industry to ensure that we have a better understanding of the world around us
  • Develop models that can be successfully implemented.

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