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What is the Middle Class?

by Luke Landes

“Middle class” is a term that has a hundred different meanings if you ask a hundred people for their definition. Unlike my frustrations with people who call a house a liability, or more accurately, those who claim a house is not an asset, the label of middle class leaves a lot to personal interpretation. While ... Continue reading this article…

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Are You a Maximizer or a Satisficer?

by Aaron Pinkston

This is a guest article by Aaron Pinkston, founder of Clarifinancial. He wasn’t satisfied with the ways people had to get life insurance quotes, so he created something better. Have you ever noticed you can relax about decisions you made while others around you are still running around frantically? On the other hand, you probably ... Continue reading this article…

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You’re Not That Great: 4 Ways to Combat Overconfidence

by Luke Landes

Overconfidence leads investors to believe they can make buying and selling decisions that would result in their performance beating the indexes. Most professional fund managers don’t beat the indexes on a consistent basis, so there is little reason to believe that amateur stock-pickers will be able to succeed where professionals have failed. Are you overconfident? ... Continue reading this article…

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Quick Survey: What Drives Your Trading Decisions?

by Luke Landes

This is a guest article by Scott Treadwell, a long-time Consumerism Commentary reader and graduate student at the University of New Hampshire. Scott is studying finance and is conducting a study in behavioral finance. Please look for the survey below and help Scott conduct his study. We are only a year removed from the greatest ... Continue reading this article…

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Investor Psychology: Why We Fail to Make Good Financial Decisions

by Luke Landes

Investors make better decisions when they separate emotions from the thought process, but it’s practically impossible to achieve the goal in perfection. Regardless of how hard one tries, emotions will always be present. The best an investor, or anyone who makes decisions about finances, can achieve is awareness of the ways psychology prevents optimal decision ... Continue reading this article…

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Men Paying for Dinner: Is It More Romantic?

by Well-Heeled

This is a guest article by Well-Heeled, creator of the blog Well-Heeled, With a Mission. If you enjoy this article, subscribe to her blog using her RSS feed. Last week, boyfriend picked me up at my apartment. I dressed up in a red dress and put on sparkly earrings. We went to one of my ... Continue reading this article…

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The Greatest Loss of This Recession

by The Weakonomist

This is a guest article by The Weakonomist, an anonymous blogger responsible for everything at Weakonomics.com. As a banking insider he’s witnessed the economic implosion from inside the bubble. You can usually find him at the corner of Wall Street and Main Street throwing rocks at traffic. My retirement accounts have dropped as hard as ... Continue reading this article…

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Knowing Your Financial History is Crucial to Your Future

by Luke Landes

About the author: This is a guest article by Dr. Bonnie Eaker Weil. Dr. Bonnie was named by New York Magazine as one of the city’s top therapists. Her most recent book, Financial Infidelity, was released in paperback edition on March 31. Whether or not you’re specifically struggling with money in your relationship, one thing ... Continue reading this article…

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A Home of My Own: Why We Buy

by Luke Landes

About the author: This is a guest article by Matt Wallaert, a behavioral psychologist and the Lead Scientist at Thrive, a free financial advisory website that helps people organize their finances and plan for the future with personalized feedback from its behavioral advisory engine. I’m an owner. While I rent an apartment in New York ... Continue reading this article…

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Emotions and Money: When to Keep Them Separated

by Luke Landes

Human beings aren’t logical, and it doesn’t take a scientist from Vulcan to prove that fact. A corollary to this statement is that human beings do not make logical decisions when it comes to their personal finances. Consider some things that could happen if people thought about the financial consequences of every choice: People would ... Continue reading this article…

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Is Anxiety Controlling Your Actions?

by Luke Landes

I don’t want to belittle the condition of the economy currently. Someone who is close to retirement may have just lost a significant portion of their intended source of income if invested solely in stocks. If you listen to the media and politicians, you might get the impression that the American public is “freaking out” ... Continue reading this article…

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Following Your Bliss: Good Advice or Bunk?

by Luke Landes

One of my favorite musical “acts” is Blue Man Group. The Blue Man Group explores, with primitively modern musical instruments, society, detachment, and collectivism. You may remember them from Intel’s old Pentium commercials. You may also remember them from the television show Arrested Development, in which the character Tobias, played by David Cross, auditioned for ... Continue reading this article…

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Jung Typology and Finance: Sensing vs. Intuition

by Luke Landes

Recently, I wrote about Jung Typology and Finance, looking at the first of four dimensions used by psychologists and career coaches for categorizing personality preferences. Introverts and Extraverts draw their energy from individual or group activity, and that difference can have an interesting effect on opinions and behavior with regard to money. The second dimension ... Continue reading this article…

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Jung Typology and Finance: Introversion vs. Extraversion

by Luke Landes

One of the most popular personality measurement systems is the “Jung Typology” test, also known as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MTBI) test. These are popular in Psychology 101 college courses and corporate management seminars. The object of this test is to quantify an individual’s personality along four separate dimensions. Each dimension has two options on ... Continue reading this article…

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Financial Attitudes: Charles Schwab’s Categorizations of Generation X

by Luke Landes

I found this in my spam e-mail box today. It’s not spam, it’s marketing from Charles Schwab. The message is interesting enough for me to post because it brings up a nuanced topic: personality categorization. When the media invokes the term “Generation X,” they’re referring to a certain age group in which everyone has enough ... Continue reading this article…

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Apologies Given: More Common Among High Earners

by Luke Landes

If you earn more than $100,000 a year, you are more likely to apologize for your own errors than you would be if you earn less. According to Fortune Magazine’s report of a Zogby survey: More than nine out of ten (92 percent) of $100,000+ earners apologize when they believe they’re to blame, compared to 89 percent ... Continue reading this article…

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Fairness and The Brain (and Other Neuroeconomic Studies)

by Luke Landes

The California Institute of Technology is undertaking a study in neuroeconomics, and it has to be one of the most interesting things I’ve come across in the realm of finance in the past few years. The researchers are undertaking experiments in which they measure reactions in the brains of individuals [WSJ] who must decide to ... Continue reading this article…

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Shared Money: Combining Finances With Your Partner

by Luke Landes

Yesterday, I received a question from a reader, Lindsey. I’m not much of a fan of giving advice; there are professionals out there whose job is to provide sound financial advice. All I can offer is my opinion. Here is Lindsey’s question. What should you do if you and your partner decide to combine finances ... Continue reading this article…

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5 Annoying Habits of Entrepreneurs

by Luke Landes

Marshall Goldsmith is an executive coach who works mainly with entrepreneurs. He has identified five annoying habits that the best entrepreneurs share. The same personality that helps individual succeed also hinders the same individuals in certain social situations. I’m not a fan of broad generalizations, so I wouldn’t say that all entrepreneurs act a certain ... Continue reading this article…

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Study: Money Makes People Mean

by Luke Landes

A recent study entitled The Psychological Consequences of Money shows that people with money on their mind are less likely to help others. Here’s the abstract: Money has been said to change people’s motivation (mainly for the better) and their behavior toward others (mainly for the worse). The results of nine experiments suggest that money ... Continue reading this article…

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