Physics Envy

Is everybody trying to be a physicist?

Physics seems to be the science of uniform laws of motion and force. Hit a billiard ball with X force and see Y result. One can see the appeal. In health care, evidence-based medicine could lead to alternate treatments and healthier people. In economics, laws of money supply and output can help us tame inflation and stimulate the economy.

Only life is rarely so neat and clean. You can’t do controlled experiments on municipal finance like you can on ant colonies. And much of the “evidence” in medicine is the result of self-reporting, where someone with back pain feels oh-so-much better after a sympathetic listener rubs some weird cream on his feet.

But policy demands certainty, even though people aren’t predictable like simple harmonic motion. The thing is, when you really understand physics, quantum behavior is full of all kinds of random, unpredictable events, with strange forces and weird twinning behavior. The physical world actually is a very bizarre place.

Maybe physics is a pretty good analogy after all.

Douglas R. Tengdin, CFA
Chief Investment Officer
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By | 2014-09-04T18:31:57+00:00 June 5th, 2009|Global Market Update|0 Comments

About the Author:

Mr. Tengdin is the Chief Investment Officer at Charter Trust Company and author of “The Global Market Update”. The audio version of each post can be heard on radio stations throughout New England every weekday. Mr. Tengdin graduated from Dartmouth College, Magna Cum Laude. He received his Master of Arts from Trinity Divinity School, Magna Cum Laude and received his Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation in 1992. Mr. Tengdin has been managing investment portfolios for over 30 years, working for Bank of Boston, State Street Global Advisors, Citibank – Tunisia, and Banknorth Group. Throughout his career, Mr. Tengdin has emphasized helping clients manage their financial risks in difficult environments where they can profit from investing in diverse assets in diverse settings. - Leave a comment if you have any questions—I read them all! - And Follow me on Twitter @GlobalMarketUpd

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