In my last blog post, we explored how to discriminate between helpful and misleading financial charts and graphs. Scrutinizing the source of the material and whether it has undergone robust peer review is one of the best ways to determine the likely quality of an illustration without further ado. Beyond that, it helps to understand some of the tricks that can be – and sometimes are – played in presenting...

If human enterprise is the soul of our capital markets, then its body is made up of numbers. It’s no surprise, then, that there is a never-ending supply of charts, graphs and tables seeking to translate all that mind-numbing market-driven data into a meaningful story at an approachable glance. I was reminded of this by a recent Monevator blog posting: “Too Big to Scale: Long-term Stock Market Returns.” Monevator is a...