Do you want a simple and easy tool for making an important decision? The simplest “tool” is a heuristic. A short-cut like “take the default” or “do what everyone else is doing” may be fine for selecting a restaurant entrée or route to the grocery store. But what about more important decisions like taking a … Continue reading Taking the Red Pill: Into the Decision Matrix
On January 31st, Decision Fish led a lively session on how to Help Millennials Make Better Financial Decisions as part of Impact Hub NYC’s 100 Days of Impact program. 100 Days of Impact is a community program to find out what we can do as a community to address concerns and make an impact.
Think back to the last time you had to make a hard, important decision. Were you picking an asset allocation for your 401k, selecting a health insurance plan or deciding whether it was time to refinance your mortgage? What kind of help did you seek and what kind of help was available? Were you confident … Continue reading How to Decide…How to Help People Decide
Open enrollment for health insurance began November 16 and the decision isn’t any easier than last year. On the contrary, not only are premiums higher and benefits lower, there’s greater uncertainty about the future of the Obama health care act. On a cold, cloudy Sunday afternoon, I analyzed my health insurance choices. Our choices and … Continue reading Health Insurance Enrollment: A Superhuman Decision
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
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)
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?
When we make decisions, we often take the way they are presented to us at face value. Maybe a sales person offers you a menu of investment options or maybe a single recommendation; either way, you can bet a lot of thought went into the architecture of the choice presented to you. Amos Tversky and Daniel … Continue reading Framing 1, Facts 0?
Decision-making is hard because there is a fundamental and unavoidable ignorance about the future. We are especially uncomfortable about outcomes produced by processes that we don’t understand well. We’re much more comfortable with risks that we can quantify, model and forecast. This is called “ambiguity aversion“. We are so uncomfortable with the former (uncertainties) that … Continue reading The Surprising Power of Honest Ignorance
I took my annual look at my investments this week, and boy did I get it wrong. A few years ago, I determined I should have about 70% of my investments in equities. Instead, as of yesterday, I had less than 60%. Most of the excess was in cash, earning essentially nothing and missing out on … Continue reading How to ‘Architect’ Your Investment Behavior