Monthly Archives: May 2009

The Easiest Way to Spend Money

Today I had the last of five or six conversations with my brother about buying a camera. I’m no Annie Liebovitz!  But I did get into SLR photography many years ago and have had the good luck to take one or two half decent photographs over the years – including one of the Brooklyn Bridge that my brother has in his house.  It’s a good picture, although not so good that he’s ever asked me to sign it or anything. Probably the best picture I ever took was of a sculpture.  I was in Paris and took a black and white photo of a Rodin work called The Woman Under the Stone (only that in French, I imagine).  By over-exposing the picture perfectly, the dark weathering of the sculpture was magically transformed into a dramatic blend of shimmering shades.  Of course, this was in the days when you didn’t know […]

The Psychology of Investment Decisions: Follow Up

I’d like to pick up on a long reply to yesterday’s post because I hope I can be more constructive than I was able to be yesterday. Here’s is Pam’s reply to yesterday’s post: It’s interesting to read how the rational and unconscious minds often pull us in opposite directions. Your point is well taken that people often think they want A but actually choose B because it fulfills an unconscious need, want or desire. It is good to bear this in mind. If you are looking to invest your money though, at some point – unless you choose to navigate the investment world yourself – you will likely be forced to make a choice between various options and advisers available to you. In essence, you are trusting your future to advice of someone and their investing philosophy and strategy. The question then becomes in whom do you trust and […]

The Edge of Reason: The Psychology of Investment Decisions

Perhaps some of the most interesting blog debate I’ve read recently has been on Rod’s Personal Investment Strategies blog.  It’s been a while since I did any consumer behaviour research with financial institutions, but in many ways my journey into consumer behaviour and away from traditional consumer research began during a consumer focus group about pension choice, back in the 1990s.  It was the fourth long and tedious group discussion with people who were considering investing in a pension scheme, during which they told me how they wanted independent advice, a range of funds and a provider with good financial security.  At the end, after everyone was getting up to go, one of the group asked another, who had been a little more vociferous than the rest, where he was planning to get his pension.  The reply led to several of the group soliciting the details of someone who I […]

Reasons to Worry about the Consumer’s Unconscious Mind

One of the joys of a home office is that the commute time is pretty short – I estimate 65 yards from breakfast to the desk.  My preferred option is to get straight into my work for the day – not because I’m one of these incredibly driven types, it’s just that I find it’s one of my most productive times of the day. However, with two young children there’s some healthy competition for my time.  Today I opted for games before school, which meant a couple of games of table football with my son, one with both children and a game called Balloon Lagoon with my daughter.  They headed off to school and I started my day a little later than usual, but still considerably earlier than if I was commuting somewhere. It was whilst I was helping Martha put the Balloon Lagoon game away in the cupboard that […]