Good morning, money nerds! It’s Monday! It’s the start of another week. As always, Jim and I are here to share the time with you — and to share some of our favorite money stories from around the web. Let’s get started.
First up, Robert Seawright at Above the Market has been publishing a great series of posts exploring the top ten behavioral and cognitive biases that cloud our thinking — with money and everything else.
He’s illustrating each post with examples from music, film, and pop culture, which helps make each bias more relatable and understandable. As I write this, he’s covered six biases and has four more to go.
- Believing is seeing (confirmation bias)
- A bird in the hand (loss aversion)
- The Lake Wobegon effect (overconfidence)
- Intentions and outcomes (self-serving bias)
- Everybody loves a winner (herding behavior)
- The map is not the territory (the narrative fallacy)
- Planning is guessing (the planning fallacy)
- I knew it all along (hindsight bias)
- Fighting the last war (recency bias)
- Often wrong but never in doubt (bias blindness)
How much are we paying for our subscription services? A lot. [The New York Times] — “Online subscriptions sure sound cheap, but what do a few bucks a month to watch TV shows, store photos online and stream music add up to? Quite a lot, it turns out. In 2019, we each spent $640 on digital subscriptions like streaming video and music services, cloud storage, dating apps and online productivity tools.” [Related: Another six-million Americans ditched cable last years.]
If you want a marriage of equals, then date as equals. [The Atlantic] — “Heterosexual women of a progressive bent often say they want equal partnerships with men. But dating is a different story entirely. The women I interviewed for a research project and book expected men to ask for, plan, and pay for dates; initiate sex; confirm the exclusivity of a relationship; and propose marriage. After setting all of those precedents, these women then wanted a marriage in which they shared the financial responsibilities, housework, and child care relatively equally. Almost none of my interviewees saw these dating practices as a threat to their feminist credentials or to their desire for egalitarian marriages. But they were wrong.”
Why avoiding bad decisions is more important than making great decisions. [Of Dollars and Data] — “I used to think that my edge in life was being smart, but it really isn’t. My edge is being not stupid. There’s a big difference…When I look back upon my life I am quite proud of my general ability to be not stupid.”
That’s it for today. We’ll be back tomorrow with more great stories. See you then!