IRL is the internet abbreviation for "in real life". Think about how much of your communication is outside this sphere of "real life". How many e-mails you send and receive a day? How often do you text your friends? Do you tweet or use Facebook? The list is of course endless. I've mainly gone through these questions to illustrate how so much of our communication consists of reading and writing messages electronically. The speed and ease with which we can do this, means our brains are saturated with information throughout everyday. There are few places in the world where we can be truly cut off from the beep-beep sound of a phone receiving a text message. Perhaps, with this information overload, "real life" communication is no longer as important?
To ask this question, seems to ignore the fact that real life communication is so much richer than electronic messages. The spontaneity of a real life chat, is difficult to replicate, by reading and writing. We of course have telephones and Skype, which help bridge the gap, but both somehow still fails to capture meeting all the nuances of real life conversation.
After all, despite all the advances of communication, business people travel the world more than ever before to strike deals and meet counterparts. Conferences are just as much as an opportunity to meet your counterparts in your industry as they are a time to hear presentations. Finance is of course no different. I would say that finance is probably a place where real life communication is even more important. Trading is the business of acting on news and judging how the market reacts to events. If you don't know anyone else in the market, how can you tell how they will react to events? I have got many ideas from chatting to traders. The exchange of ideas just happens so much quicker when you're there in the same place!
It's one of the main reasons we started running Thalesians' finance seminars all those years ago, to try to bring together members of the finance community "in real life" and hopefully shed some light on markets at the same time, starting in London, but also now in New York and Budapest (where we just had a bitcoin panel, yesteday). We're very excited about our next panel event in London on Wed 29th Apr, which brings together experts, which include Eric Burroughs (Editor of FX Buzz, Reuters) and Mark Cudmore (EM strategist, Bloomberg), to discuss global macro markets and the UK election. The panel will also be taking questions from the audience, given everyone a chance to take part in the discussion.
So if you want to learn about markets in a snapshot more than 140 characters at a time, in that most "old school" of ways "in real life".. register here to attend our next LDN panel event on Wed 29th Apr. Tickets are selling out quick and I hope to see many of my blog readers there!
Like my writing? Have a look at my book Trading Thalesians - What the ancient world can teach us about trading today is on Palgrave Macmillan. You can order the book on Amazon. Drop me a message if you're interesting in me writing something for you or creating a systematic trading strategy for you! Please also come to our regular finance talks in London, New York and Budapest - join our Meetup.com group for more details here (Thalesians calendar below)
22 Apr - New York - How Smart Money Invests and Market Prices Are Determined - Lasse Pedersen
29 Apr - London - Global macro & UK election panel - Eric Burroughs / Reuters, Mark Cudmore / Bloomberg, Jordan Rochester / Nomura, Jeremy Wilkinson-Smith / Independent & Saeed Amen / Thalesians