By Michelle Singletary November 10, 2017
The Washington Post

A number of websites and mobile apps can turn you into a budgeting wizard, doing everything from downloading your banking information and allowing you to create impressive charts to alerting you when you’ve blown past your self-imposed spending limits. But after years of working one-on-one with financially challenged people, here’s what I’ve found: The source of their money troubles isn’t their lack of a cool budgeting app. And most of the time, it has nothing to do with their lack of funds. More...

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By Christopher Robbins
October 18, 2017

Clients Say Advisors Sometimes Undermine Their Trust In Them

While most investors trust their financial advisors, many say they’ve had an experience undermining that trust.

Trust is the axis upon which an advisor-client relationship revolves, and according to “Trust and Financial Advice,” a paper from Vanguard’s Center for Investment Research, most advisors seem to be doing a good job establishing and maintaining their clients’ trust. More...


By Ben Hawkes, Business Psychologist
October 18, 2017

Entrepreneur or Narcissist?

What’s the difference between an entrepreneur and a narcissist?
It may be harder to tell than you think. In a 2016 study, researchers sent a survey to 466 business and MBA students asking them questions about their intentions to become an entrepreneur and their motives for entering entrepreneurial ventures. They also measured their standing on the "dark triad" traits - narcissism, psychopathy, and Machiavellianism - which are associated with antisocial and counterproductive behaviors. More...


By Ben Steverman
Private Wealth Magazine
October 20, 2017


'Psychopath' Hedge Fund Managers Make Less Money Than Nice Guys

In the world of high finance, it’s been an article of faith among some that the only way to succeed—or even survive—is to be ruthless. But a new study in the latest issue of the Personality & Social Psychology Bulletin suggests those money makers at the top of the food chain, hedge fund managers, could benefit from being a little less mean. More...

 Behavioral Finance Blog Financial Therapy

Sean Allocca
Financial Planning
October 25 2017

Can ‘financial therapy’ cure bad client behavior?

Advisors specialize in knowing every facet of their clients’ financial lives. Will they need to delve into their mental processes and emotional states as well?

Absolutely says Dan Egan, Betterment’s director of behavioral finance. With automated software digitizing many menial tasks — like rebalancing portfolios and utilizing tax-loss harvesting — the advisors’ value will hinge on dealing with complex human relationships, he says. More...

  Behavioral Finance Blog Trump’s Rally

By Barry Ritholtz
Bloomberg View
October 20, 2017

Stick With Numbers When Judging Trump's Rally -- Anything else is just story-telling in the interest of scoring political points.

Whenever I write about anything with even a vague political component, I always get the strangest correspondence. Much of it is unpublishable and sometimes amusing, and usually worthy of nothing more than a Twitter block. And yet these missives offer something useful about one of my favorite subjects: Why our brains are not wired for finance. More...

  Behavioral Finance Blog Scaling Machine Learning

By Chris Risdom
Behavioral Scientist
October 25, 2017

Scaling Nudges with Machine Learning

There is a particular tension at the heart of applied behavioral science: We make decisions based on our unique circumstances and context, and yet we also desire solutions that can help people make better decisions on a massive scale. When I talk about this conflict inside the walls of a bank (I’m head of behavioral design at Capital One), I often describe it as “math versus snowflake.” More...

  Behavioral Finance Blog Hedge Fund Managers

October 19, 2017

The best hedge fund managers are not psychopaths or narcissists, according to new study

When it comes to financial investments, hedge fund managers higher in "dark triad" personality traits - psychopathy, narcissism, and Machiavellianism - perform more poorly than their peers, according to new personality psychology research. The difference is a little less than 1% annually compared to their peers, but with large investments over several years that slight underperformance can add up. The results appear in the journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, published by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology. More...

  Behavioral Finance Blog Hedge Fund Managers

By Richard Peterson, MD
CEO, MarketPsych LLC
October 18, 2017


The Last Supper, Sentiment Cycles, and Impermanence


A wave of emotion passed through the disciples - shock, confusion, sadness, fear. 

This moment is captured in Leonardo da Vinci's masterpiece, "The Last Supper." Da Vinci portrays the disciples' reactions as ripples, seen in the two clusters on each side of Jesus in the image above. 

Prior to the Last Supper, paintings were often portraits of emotionless dignitaries, bland landscapes, religious iconography, or historical battle scenes. Da Vinci put dynamic feeling and emotion - life and humanity - into this work. More...