Field Note #125. On "Trust 'Equation'"

(1) Charles Green, "Understanding the Trust Equation," Trusted Advisor, avail. online; (2) Model Thinkers, "Trust Equation," avail. online.

The Context.

Easy to dismiss as obvious.  Easy to pay lip service to.  Easy to assume and let slip into the shadow of forgetfulness.

A reminder.

In a recent Goldman Sachs "Top of Mind" piece (Issue 114, Dec. 9, 2022), Currie & Sharp claim that regulators must figure out "what to regulate in the ecosystem to protect investors--the point of trust, not the 'trustless' blockchains themselves." (p. 17)

What this statement elides is the preceding need for a self-regulation of trust.  Or, more properly, a self-cultivation of trust.  In the professional investing domain with a fiduciary oath, this kind of self-cultivation can be neglected as "soft" versus the machismo-driven hunt for "alpha."  

But, an ethic of trust is a precondition to alpha capture.  In a sense, we might say it is alpha.  

In investing domains rife with complexities, opacity, and asymmetries (i.e., crypto, web3), cultivating this ethic of trust at the individual (here, fiduciary) level presents a non-standard "edge" needed to realize the underlying awe-inspiring convexity of the asset class.

See also Field Notes #117 (On "Decision Integrity + Impoverished (Investor) Subject) and #119 (On "(Self) Trust(less)").

An "equation."

Trust ≈ (Credibility + Reliability + Intimacy) / Self-Orientation

Perhaps the most interesting insight, according to the sources of the above "trust equation," is that the greatest impact to boosting trust occurs in the "EQ" domain by increasing intimacy and decreasing self-orientation.  The other components in the "numerator"--credibility + reliability--are necessary, but not sufficient.

The Details.

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