Wealth Versus Income: The Psychological and Behavioral Differences

I recently had a conversation with my teenage daughter where we had reason to consider the financial situation of an elderly couple that are family friends. My daughter became aware that this family had an (undisclosed) amount of money to live on for the rest of their lives, and that was it. She made an off-hand remark that “they have that amount of money to live on, and that’s it? That would stink.” This …
If you have watched a fintech product demo that includes anything remotely related to financial psychology, you might hear the word “personality” thrown around a lot. For example, I heard one very confident salesperson recently refer to his platform as measuring “investor personality” when the tech was measuring the client’s current feelings about investing. Personality characteristics predict a wide range of future outcomes regarding human behavior. The Big Five (or OCEAN) model of personality has been …
In a Wall Street Journal article this week, the perils of debt-supported spending by Chinese Gen Z-ers and millennials were contrasted with the potential benefits of a hyper-charged consumer economy. The upshot from a macro-economic perspective is that while some amount of borrowing can be good for an economy (leading to job creation and more productivity), it can also lead to unhealthy levels of household debt, which in turn can lead to an overall …
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 …
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 …

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