Uncertainty is a feeling of anxiety and a part of culture since the dawn of civilization. Civilizations have invented numerous ways to cope with uncertainty, statistics is one of those technologies. The rhetoric as the discourse of investment theory uncovers that the theory of statistics applied is a blind spot in the current conversation about investment theory and practice. Probability and prediction in investment theory look like a tying sale, since investment theory is founded on stochastical predictability. The proof of unpredictability, however, lies outside the paradigm of statistics, because statistics assumes that the substrate, that produces probability outcomes, is stable.

The theory of objective probabilities founds the Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM) but does not stochastically predict, and neither do Markowitz’s subjective probabilities for his portfolio theory. Statistical models for investing have a function, despite that they cannot predict: in essence, the models try to quantify statistically the equity, the fairness of the distribution of risk and return between parties involved.

In the dissertation, a lot of ideas to change finance have had attention: the alternative statistical theory of Mandelbrot, bubble theory, political finance, the analysis of rhetoric, the analysis of culture, innovative practices, ethics in the form of virtue and value ethics, and the history of finance. How to make the culture of finance more heterogeneous? That starts with awareness of the current problems, the introduction of multiform metaphors for investment theory, and handling the ambiguity of theory uncertainty, by presenting, explaining and elaborating the alternatives.

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S.J. Magala (Slawomir)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Rotterdam School of Management (RSM), Erasmus University

Pistorius, T. (2016, January 14). The Rhetoric of Investment Theory. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/79473