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Aging and Financial Decision Making: What Changes and What Stays the Same?

By Hal Hershfield

In my first faculty job at NYU, I taught an Intro Marketing class to a few sections of undergrads. Even though I was about 12 years older than the students, I still felt quite young – I was only 32, after all! Plus, it seemed like my students and I were more or less on the same page … that is, right up until I had one of my first office hours appointments. As I was writing some emails and listening to a Spotify playlist, a student walked in and suddenly exclaimed, “Wow, this is not the same sort of music that my parents listen to!”

“Obviously, it’s not the same music,” I thought, “her parents are probably about 20 years older than me; there’s no way she can think I’m that old.” But of course, that’s exactly what she thought.

Shortly thereafter marked the first time I looked in the mirror and asked myself, “Am I … getting old?”

It was also the first time that I started thinking earnestly, not just about my age but about how my age might affect my choices, especially my financial ones (I’m a business school professor, after all).

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Crypto is Money Without a Purpose

It isn’t a financial service and shouldn’t be regulated as one. Laws on gambling are more relevant.

By Todd H. Baker

Before FTX crashed, crypto lobbyists and many politicians were complaining loudly that crypto trading was being unfairly denied full participation in banking and finance by overly cautious regulators. We should thank our lucky stars that somebody showed good sense.

Granted, crypto trading looks a lot like the forms of finance we’re all familiar with. It’s made up of things called “exchanges,” “brokers,” “lenders,” “deposits” and “hedge funds.” The financial press breathlessly reports their every move. Crypto also carries the special mystique of the blockchain, which has let traders treat critics as anti-innovation Luddites.

Yet in the most crucial respect, the crypto marketplace isn’t at all like traditional finance. Finance and financial services exist for a purpose that crypto trading lacks. As a Nobel Prize-winning economist Robert Shiller once wrote, “Finance is not about making money per se . . .it exists to support other goals—those of society.”

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What Investors Should Understand About Psychology

Cognitive biases can lead investors astray, but here's what you can do to overcome them.

By Josh Goulding

Humans like to think of themselves as rational, and economists have historically modeled the markets with the assumption that people will act rationally. Instead, investors tend to react to market movements with a range of biases, from overconfidence to costly loss-aversion bias.

Behavioral finance, pioneered by Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky, challenged the steadfast belief that markets are driven by classical economic theory.

This past year was marked with pronounced emotional moments where investors went from feeling like it was 1929 in March 2020, to feeling like they were experiencing the 1999 market euphoria in January 2021.


One of the most important things you can do as an investor is to understand ingrained psychological biases. Being aware of these biases can help prevent poor decision-making during emotionally charged moments. Here are three biases to be aware of and how to combat them:

  • Overconfidence bias
  • Loss aversion
  • Confirmation bias

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Entitlements Will Eat America’s Economy

As we did in the 1990s, lawmakers should put aside partisanship and get to work on reform.

By John R. Kasich

When I was chairman of the House Budget Committee in 1997, Republicans and Democrats in Washington saw past our differences to balance the federal budget for the first time in decades. Working together, we managed to follow up that success with three more balanced budgets. Yet it’s been 17 years since lawmakers and the White House approved a spending plan that didn’t add to the national debt.

Rather than tackling their budget responsibilities head-on, each successive Congress and administration has passed temporary, stopgap spending bills. In fact, Washington set a record for that policy of avoidance in 2017 by passing six short-term extensions in less than a year.

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Global Market Breakdown | Q4 2017

Global equity markets advanced in fourth quarter with a 5.93% aggregate return. Emerging markets (+7.66%) outperformed US markets (+6.49%) and Developed (ex US) markets (+4.57%).

In the US, mid cap (+6.94%) outperformed large cap (+6.77%) and small cap (+3.59%). Among price-to-book asset classes, growth (+8.28%) beat neutral (+5.94%) and value (+5.75%).

In Developed markets, mid cap (+5.74%) outperformed small cap (+5.28%) and large cap (+4.15%) while value (+5.39%) beat growth (+4.70%) and neutral (+3.83%). Among the twenty-two Developed countries, Singapore (+8.78%) experienced the largest gain while Japan (+8.63%) made the largest contribution. Sweden (-2.70%) had the lowest return and was the largest detractor.

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