California Consumers and Gas Prices

How might California be responding to $5.00 gas? Let’s start with bread machines. Behavioral economist Dan Ariely explains that when one of the first sellers of bread machines placed it on the shelf, few people were interested because they could…

Blame, Bias and Belief

Having just begun The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes, I wanted to share a wonderful excerpt. While this student is commenting on the origins of the First World War, his comments take us far beyond. “Indeed, isn’t the whole…

Bogeys, Birdies and the Eurozone

Analyzing more than 1.6 million putts, including Tiger Woods, 2 University of Pennsylvania economists concluded that professional golfers putt better when avoiding a bogey (a stroke over par) than when trying for a birdie (a stroke under par). The reason?…

Are You A Good Investor?

Good investing takes us to our emotions. But not quite how you might expect. Our brains don’t like random events. Instead, we prefer patterns, especially pleasing patterns. For basketball, that means streaks. According to one statistical study of the 76ers…

Altitude and Attitude

A recent article in Scientific American cited a correlation between altitude and attitude. Describing four different experiments, researchers concluded that physical elevation seemed to connect to generosity, kindness, and cooperation. This is what they found: 1. At a mall, shoppers…

How Not To Price a House

Let’s assume you would like to sell your house. According to Wired journalist Jonah Lehrer, the price you select might not be optimal. Why? Because we like to avoid losing money. (Of course, you might say, that is obvious. But…

World Cup Soccer and Stock Markets

Referring to a basic investing strategy, Vanguard founder, Jack Bogle said, “Buy and hold forever”. If you disagree, though, you might want to hear about the impact of World Cup soccer on stock markets. In a recent academic study, researchers…