What can you say about banks? While ATMs and online banking mean that you can do transactions and watch your account 24 hours a day, most people have never met their bank manager and the cozy feeling of having a local bank has been lost. This week, Doug speaks to Anat Admati, author of The Bankers New Clothes and a professor of economics at Stanford University, who explains the ins and outs of the banking system today.
Posts Tagged ‘finance’
In the second part of this week’s Goldstein on Gelt podcast, Doug gives important information about retirement, insurance, and pensions in Israel. If you’re an oleh or you are considering moving to Israel, find out which kinds of insurance would be most suitable for you and your family. Don’t miss out on these vital facts. Listen to this part of the podcast for more.
Now that we’re well into 2013, last year has become a fuzzy memory. But for me it stands out as the year I started writing my blog here on The Jewish Press. In addition to reading my posts, for the past few months, you’ve been downloading the podcasts of my personal finance radio show. We’ve had a chance to meet outstanding personalities, including Nobel Prize winners Robert Aumann, Andre Geim, and Alvin Roth, best-selling authors Michael Starbird, Nicholas Wapshott, and Ken Rogoff, outstanding entrepreneur Gail Reynolds, chief scientist Harold Vinegar, and many others.
Hopefully, Goldstein on Gelt has not only entertained you, but has given you a new angle on personal finance and financial security. Guest Kevin Mitnick (professional computer hacker) and personal safety expert Bob Arno taught us innovative ways to safeguard our identity and possessions. Other guests Verne Harnish and Ken Fisher made us question how we make decisions, and challenged us to make better decisions to further our human potential, in all aspects of our lives, not just money.
I’d like to share these interviews and insights with you, so I compiled my favorite interviews of 2012 (it was so hard to pick!) into an e-book, The Best of Goldstein on Gelt 2012. Download it for free when you subscribe to receive updates as to who my weekly guests are, and broaden your definition of personal finance.
Mike Mayo, finance analyst and author of Exile on Wall Street, has been named on Worth Magazine’s list of the most powerful people in finance. On the Goldstein on Gelt show, Mike talks about the changes that need to be made in the world of finance, the recent world finance crisis, and what’s happening on Wall Street today.
Do you have any secret funds or debts that your spouse doesn’t know about? I’m referring here to a hidden bank account or an unknown credit card or debt that you have never told anyone about.
If you do, then you are definitely not alone, as a recent Prudential Insurance company survey showed. When the British newspaper The Telegraph published the results of the survey at the end of November, it revealed that around 20 percent of British citizens have debts that they have not disclosed to their partners. Additionally, a slightly smaller number of people admitted that they had hidden investments and savings that were totally unknown to their spouses.
Those asked gave several reasons for concealing their debts. Many times, the underlying cause was a combination of bad monetary habits and embarrassment – over borrowing money to cover everyday living costs, or needing to pay off debts that shouldn’t have arisen. Some said their overspending had been caused by emotional distress, leading to financial problems. In many cases (22 percent), the reason for hiding savings was the fear of a breakup and making sure that there would be some money if this would occur. Eight percent even said that they hide these funds because they simply don’t trust the way their spouse handles money.
As a financial adviser, I often work with couples who argue with each other about money or who don’t trust each other when it comes to financial matters. Indeed, I noticed that attitudes to money are a huge cause of domestic disharmony. The statistics above definitely bear this out; they certainly don’t provide a very positive view of money or relationships.
The best way to combat these difficulties is to meet them head-on and prevent them from happening right from the beginning. If you have a son or daughter who is about to get married, sit down with the young couple and discuss financial habits, such as budgeting and saving. At the same time, emphasize openness and good communication in marriage. Trust and honesty are not only good values with regard to money, but also for marriage in general.
I recently discussed these issues with Sherrie Miller, co-founder of Choice of the Heart, an organization that prepares couples for marriage. And even if you have been married for twenty-five years, it certainly does no harm to review your financial habits with your spouse and to listen to some good and useful advice. Watch the video of my interview with Sherrie to learn more about financial fidelity and other tips for creating (and improving) a strong marriage.
What do anorexia nervosa and financial planning have in common?
The answer is found in one of the most dangerous household items known to mankind – otherwise known as the bathroom scales. How many people, and especially teenage girls, have the compulsion to weigh themselves and then, panicking at the numbers that appear, decide to go on a drastic diet?Sometimes, of course, a person may be suffering from a real weight or health problem and they need to go on a diet. However, many times, these diets are unnecessary. Yet people are so obsessed by the ideal of “thin is beautiful” that they will put themselves through the most awful tortures to achieve it, sometimes to a life-threatening extent.
A few months ago, Israel led the world in the war on anorexia and other eating disorders by enacting a law banning models with a BMI of 18.5 or less from the fashion world. The idea is to stop young women from aspiring to be too thin and even endangering their lives in the pursuit of an unhealthy ideal. This idea has been widely applauded throughout the globe and not only in the fashion industry. It is hoped that more countries will jump on the bandwagon, encouraging people to be healthy rather than painfully skinny.
The healthiest diet is the balanced diet
There’s no need to either starve yourself or overindulge. The same idea applies to your financial plan. Sometimes, you might look at the figures (think bathroom scales!) and feel so overwhelmed that you think you need to slim down your expenses drastically. But is that really what you need to do? Conversely, just as you may suddenly get an urge to eat an entire chocolate cake, you may sometimes find yourself spending excessively without any restraint.
In the world of finance, neither approach is ideal. You’re earning money and investing it so that you can live a good life, both now and later on when you retire. If you “starve” yourself, depriving yourself of essentials that you need and are still able to afford, your quality of life will suffer. And if you spend with abandon, you will soon find yourself “overweight” with debt.
What is the best financial diet?
In order to find the best financial “diet,” create an effective financial plan. As they say, “information is power,” and just as you learned about nutrition to fuel your body properly, learn about budgeting and investing to fuel your finances.
Start by reading some informative personal finance articles. Once you mastered the balance between “starving” and “overindulging” your finances, you can look forward to a healthier life and retirement.
Professor Robert Aumann, winner of the Nobel Prize for Economics in 2005, returns to Goldstein on Gelt to share more of his insights on pairwise matching, what this means, and how to apply its logic to making everyday decisions.