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

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

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

Can One Become Great at Decision-Making?

Our decisions, and the actions they lead to, make us who we are. In that sense, decisions are fundamental to our identities, our humanity and even the future of our planet. But what is a good decision and how do we get great at making them? I want to share with you my answers to … Continue reading Can One Become Great at Decision-Making?

The Promise and Peril of Group Decision-Making

Group Decision-Making is Really Hard Whom should we hire, promote or fire? Who should we put on this proposal writing team and what should we propose? I’ve made or participated in such group decisions hundreds of times and I’ve never felt confident in the process or the outcome. Did we come up with the right … Continue reading The Promise and Peril of Group Decision-Making

My Most Embarrassing Financial Failures

So this is embarrassing: I’ve been advising institutions and individuals about financial decisions for nearly three decades and yet I’ve failed many times to make good choices myself. I want to share a list of my failures with you both so you can avoid them and as a commitment device, so I don’t keep failing … Continue reading My Most Embarrassing Financial Failures

How a Finance Guy Looks at Exercising, Inoculations and Fruit for Dessert

When I exercise, get a check-up, get my flu shot or skip dessert (too rarely), I do it because I’m supposed to. I have a vague impression that the cost, pain or other inconvenience I experience today should be more than offset by savings or other benefits in the future. One thing I’ve never done, which … Continue reading How a Finance Guy Looks at Exercising, Inoculations and Fruit for Dessert