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The Behavioral Finance Symposium: Simple Fixes & Deep Challenges

I recently attended the Behavioral Finance Symposium at Golden Gate University in San Francisco.  The speakers were academics and practitioners speaking on the behavioral challenges to good investment and trading decisions. The crowd seemed to be mostly left-coast traders, investment managers and consultants. Many of the talks were thought provoking and left me with a … Continue reading The Behavioral Finance Symposium: Simple Fixes & Deep Challenges

Six Ways to Avoid Regret

I wish I had picked a different airline or maybe shelled out more money for a better seat. (I’m writing this squeezed into a coach seat near the lavatory on a six-hour flight to attend the Behavioral Finance Symposium in San Francisco.) I wish I had known six months ago that people were much more … Continue reading Six Ways to Avoid Regret

Good Behavior? What I Learned at the Behavioral Summit (and How it Freaked Me Out a Little)

I just attended the best conference ever. And I’ve been to a lot of them. The ideas42 Behavioral Summit 2016 was billed as offering “…an inside look at the latest developments from the field of behavioral science and how these insights drive innovation in the private sector.” Indeed it went beyond that, touching on politics, … Continue reading Good Behavior? What I Learned at the Behavioral Summit (and How it Freaked Me Out a Little)

Selling my Darlings

Let’s do something completely different this week. How about a photo-essay? When I began my study of decision-making, I assumed that the coldly rational, quantitatively financial-economic approach was the best. How else can you avoid making the systematic errors that our cognitive biases can cause? I’ve since learned that emotion, intuition, empathy and even unconscious … Continue reading Selling my Darlings

How to be Ethical in Under Four Minutes*

Ethical Decisions are Everywhere The homeless guy I walked past. The hamburger I ate and the tip I left. The verbally abusive parent on the subway that I ignored. The $20 bill I found in the back of a cab. The elections. Life, at work and at home, is full of ethical decisions, choices about … Continue reading How to be Ethical in Under Four Minutes*

Interview With a Skeptic

Decision Fish Interviews Kim Stephenson, an occupational psychologist. Perhaps the greatest benefit of the World Wide Web, is contained in the first two words. Decision Fish’s blog has readership worldwide, self-selected to be some of the most thoughtful and smartest people anywhere. Kim Stephenson, an occupational psychologist from the UK is one of those people. Here’s a … Continue reading Interview With a Skeptic

Decision Fish Needs Guinea Pigs

Time for a Quick Update Besides blogging and tweeting about decision-making, Decision Fish has been building apps that help people make wise financial decisions. If you ever feel under-prepared, overwhelmed or intimidating by big financial decisions, we’ll be there. We are building trusted, easy to use apps that give people just the education and analysis they need to make … Continue reading Decision Fish Needs Guinea Pigs

Career Advice from a Stoic

I recently visited with a 27 year old who asked me for help in figuring out what to do with his life. He is about to start at a prestigious graduate school and is feeling pressure to make some big career decisions quickly.  Here’s the letter I wrote him, inspired by Seneca’s Letters from a Stoic. Before you … Continue reading Career Advice from a Stoic

How to Make a Qualitative Decision

Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA) is a decision process that makes you put a number—usually dollars—on the costs and benefits of every alternative. One chooses the alternative that has the greatest total benefit net of total cost. We can estimate the value of hard costs like construction, opportunity costs like alternative uses of money as well as benefits like improved … Continue reading How to Make a Qualitative Decision

How is your Financial Health?

Just in time (actually a day late) for #FinHealthMatters day, try this quick financial health check up! Don’t worry: zero co-pays here and your answers are confidential because they’re not tracked. The Center for Financial Services Innovation has developed an eight-point scale to help financial institutions adjust their products and services to “… focus on improving consumers’ lives.” … Continue reading How is your Financial Health?