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

Framing 1, Facts 0?

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?

The Myth of Financial Literacy Education

The quantity, complexity and importance of the financial decisions we have to make keeps increasing. For example, as traditional defined-benefit pension plans going extinct, people increasingly have to manage their own retirement plans. There are more investment choices than ever: structured CDs, marketplace lending, crowdfunded start-ups not to mention thousands of ETFs and mutual funds. … Continue reading The Myth of Financial Literacy Education

Decisions into Old Age: The Forecast is Partly Cloudy

Here’s a question that just about everyone approaching (and passing) middle age will feel ambivalent about: how does getting older affect our ability to make rational decisions? On the one hand, it’s common knowledge that our cognitive abilities begin to decline in our fifties. On the other, as I’ve written before, the accumulation of experience … Continue reading Decisions into Old Age: The Forecast is Partly Cloudy

Mortgage Market Fail

How is it that, eight years after the financial crisis, there are 549,000 homes currently in some stage of foreclosure? A recent study found that 20 percent of American households should have refinanced in 2010, but did not. Potential loss: $45,000 over the lifetime of the loan. Another study found that 25 percent had interest rates more … Continue reading Mortgage Market Fail

Lessons From the Global Financial Crisis

Why Did So Many People Make So Many Ex Post Bad Decisions? The Causes of the Foreclosure Crisis has a really interesting alternative explanation the global financial crisis of 2008: Maybe it wasn’t about financial industry insiders deceiving investors and homebuyers, financial innovations run amok, securitization that allowed mortgage originators to avoid having skin in the game … Continue reading Lessons From the Global Financial Crisis