The Investing Mistakes of Millionaires (And The Rest of Us)

Sometime around 2000, I gambled some of my money away while fooling myself into thinking I was doing something very sophisticated. I wasn’t in Las Vegas: I was sitting at my computer buying shares of Krispy Kreme Donuts on eTrade. I had seen the front page of Forbes or Fortune or some other publication touting the company’s success and its future prospects, and decided on my own, without seeking the counsel of my wiser and[…]

Psychological Schemas & Spending: Children’s Birthday Parties

When our first daughter was very young–not quite two years old–we attended our first-ever birthday party for a three-year-old. (I recently talked about this experience on the Afford Anything podcast with Paula Pant). We went as a family of three. It was 2:00 in the afternoon on a Saturday. We arrived and were somewhat taken aback by the scene: was this a wedding reception? Considering the evidence of the multitude of adults milling around the[…]

Openness to Change in Personal Finance

If you’ve spent any amount of time contemplating how you might improve the condition of your health, career, finances, family, spirituality, or other important element of your life, you may inevitably reach the conclusion that a change of some kind is required. Many readers of our blog and books share a common conundrum: they acknowledge a change is necessary (either for themselves or for their client), but they also instinctively know that actually making the[…]

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[…]

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[…]