Performance Perspectives Blog

Where education is lacking

by | Sep 21, 2011

Surely you’re familiar with the George Santayana line about needing to recall the past to avoid repeating it. This speaks to history, yes?

In today’s Wall Street Journal Norm Augustine discusses how history is a subject today’s youth don’t do too well with. As one who considered history as an undergrad pursuit (I chose math instead) and who still enjoys reading about history, I found the article of great interest. Augustine writes that studying history has benefits outside the knowledge it brings, as it “create[s] critical thinkers who can digest, analyze and synthesize information and articulate.” Furthermore, and perhaps of greater importance, “These are skills needed across a broad range of subjects and disciplines.” Can you, perchance, think of any area where such skills are necessary? Hopefully performance and risk analysis came to mind. He also points out the value of “the ability to think broadly and read and write clearly” as being key to advancement.

While I love American and World History, I am also a fan of Performance Measurement History; that is, to learn about what has transpired over the past 40 years or so in the world in which I’ve chosen to spend most of my time and build a career. Having been around “at the creation” of the FAF standards, and the AIMR-PPS(R), and its evolution into GIPS(R), I can relate how things were to how they are today, which often has value. The Spaulding Group‘s publication of Classics in Investment Performance Measurement was partly in response to my desire to capture some of the earlier works in our field.

I encourage you to study history in general, but also to be aware of our history. Who doesn’t want their analytical skills improved and to advance further?

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