Earlier in the month, I attended “AQR University,” held at the University of Chicago and sponsored by fund manager AQR Capital. Given how many Nobel laureates have come out of there (check out that line-up of them on the wall), we know some of the university’s intellectual capital has rubbed off on us. At least it feels that way, based on the fresh perspectives we heard at the event.

University of Chicago professor and author Nicholas Epley was a keynote speaker. I’d read his groundbreaking book, “Mindwise,” but I’d not had the chance to meet him in person.

Me and Dr. Epley

In his presentation, Dr. Epley shared some of his research into how often we try to read one another’s minds. By frequently relying on body language or “perspective-taking,” he explained how and why our understanding of others is often off-base. What’s a better way to figure out what someone else is thinking? Dr. Epley suggests we should just ask.

We also heard from AQR co-founders Cliff Asness and Dave Kabiller. In today’s fast-paced environment in practical and academic financial economics, it’s important for us to regularly “just ask” colleagues and thought leaders what’s on their minds. This is another way we ensure our evidence-based investment strategies remain guided by peer-reviewed best practices.

For more on Cliff’s views, read this Wall Street Journal article about factor investing. In it, he expressed similar sentiments to the ones he shared with us in person.

Want to know what else we learned in Chicago? Just ask!

Hill Investment Group