Contemplating Change and Sunk Costs

The phenomenon of the “sunk-cost” bias or fallacy is often discussed in the context of investing behaviors to refer to a mindset where we hang on to a perpetually under-performing investment as a result of our attachment to and focus upon the amount we paid for it. Our brain instinctively focuses not on the stock’s objective performance over time, but instead anchors the perception of value around the amount originally paid for the investment. If[…]

Psychology of Black Friday

Wealth and Black Friday Psychology

As we approach Thanksgiving in the United States, the bustle of life may seem to be slowing. That calm, however, is underscored by the advertising and enticements of retailers hoping to move into the black side of the ledger for the year on the day after the holiday of gratitude. Otherwise known as Black Friday. Indeed so many of us will go shopping on that day that it will almost appear that everyone is doing[…]

Financial Success & A Mindset of Control

Imagine this: it’s the day after Halloween, and you are about to enter your local big-box store retailer. EVERYTHING about the store flashes “SALE!” Who or what is in control of your actions in this situation? Let’s consider two different mindsets and possible outcomes related to how we might approach our shopping trip in this scenario: Mindset 1: I can positively affect the wealth my household accumulates. Potential Outcome: I will shop and spend in[…]

Savings over time makes a difference.

What’s the Difference Between a 17% and 7% Savings Rate?

Our data consistently tells us that in the arena of personal-finance outcomes, behaviors matter. They matter a lot. So we thought it was time to try and quantify—from a dollars and net-worth perspective—exactly how much is “a lot.”  We have talked here before about the difference in savings rates between “high-potential” individuals and “low-potential” individuals, as measured by scores on the DataPoints Building Wealth assessment. As a quick refresher, Building Wealth measures behaviors and attitudes in[…]