The formation of a thesis

It’s interesting to follow trains of thought among the medical authorities around this time. The progress that is made in tiny analytic steps, the statistical and probabilistic assessments, the hesitant conclusions subject to further testing and interpretation, all this in many ways resembles the formation of an investment thesis.

And the endpoint is more or less the same: a recommended course of action towards a desired outcome, predicated on the isolation and mitigation of risks that are identified along the way, balanced against tradeoffs and potential benefits that hopefully result.

Particularly as the subject matter is one of multivariate complex systems – organs that may react and interact in varying ways, groups of bodies that may do the same, externalities that skew outcomes, individual and group psychology, always a wildcard – the resemblance to economies and markets could not be more pronounced.

CBS News

As large economic managers and their counterparts in medicine consider their next steps and large directions, which in the current case also interrelate, we smaller ones may seek to do the same. That is to say, we’re all investors, even if not in financial assets, with positions that require monitoring and reconsideration at all times. Especially in turbulence.

Business strategy and execution, career planning and education, expenditures and downside protection, such things make up our non-financial portfolios (but so much boils down to finance at least indirectly, truth be told) which aren’t always liquid. A thesis helps.

A thesis helps to set a course, to watch for variances or fine-tune, as will likely be required. In many cases, the thesis will be one to modify outright as circumstances outright change. Under the guise of a business plan, a job, a degree, a stock purchase, and etc., there is consciously or unconsciously a thesis in any case; thinking this through formally, if you will, is probably not a waste of time and energy these days, as the givens and assumptions are said to be changing.