The Half-Astrophysicist Blog

I Should Have Gone To Wall Street…

At least according to Cambridge University Business School’s John Coates and highlighted this week on the Naked Scientists podcast. He published findings in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences titled, “Second-to-fourth digit ration predicts success among high-frequency financial traders.” The second to fourth digit ration refers to your fingers: traders who had ring fingers longer than index fingers were more successful and stayed in the business longer. The study looked at traders in the pit where quick reflexes are important.

A longer ring finger indicates more pre-natal testosterone exposure. The thinking is that this exposure lead to better reflexes necssary for traders who are trying to time the market to the second. And yes, check out athletes…they tend to have longer ring fingers as well.  Don’t despair if you are a long term investor…you won’t be handicapped by having a long index finger.

Of coure the first thing I did after hearing this is look at my own hand and sure enough, my ring finger is a good deal longer than my index finger.  I snapped a picture of my hand with my webcam (while my cat Hale-Bopp was lounging on me).  I guess I wasted my longer finger on sports when I could have been a Wall Street millionaire!


January 26, 2009 - Posted by | Biology, general science

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