"Advice givers should be evaluated heavily on how much of their advice is followed. Giving advice is…"

Sunday, February 12th, 2012 at 9:21 am
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“Advice givers should be evaluated heavily on how much of their advice is followed. Giving advice is easy. Getting people to follow it is where your value is.”

The top mistakes UX designers make: the writeup « Scott Berkun

"If “Someone Like You” produces such intense sadness in listeners, why is it so popular? Last year,…"

Sunday, February 12th, 2012 at 9:19 am
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If “Someone Like You” produces such intense sadness in listeners, why is it so popular? Last year, Robert Zatorre and his team of neuroscientists at McGill University reported that emotionally intense music releases dopamine in the pleasure and reward centers of the brain, similar to the effects of food, sex and drugs. This makes us feel good and motivates us to repeat the behavior.

Measuring listeners’ responses, Dr. Zatorre’s team found that the number of goose bumps observed correlated with the amount of dopamine released, even when the music was extremely sad. The results suggest that the more emotions a song provokes—whether depressing or uplifting—the more we crave the song.



Why Adele’s ‘Someone Like You’ Makes Everyone Cry – WSJ.com

"The use of email has plunged by more than 30% in the last year among consumers under the age of 24,…"

Friday, February 10th, 2012 at 11:14 pm
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“The use of email has plunged by more than 30% in the last year among consumers under the age of 24, owing to the increased use of texting and Facebook to stay in touch.”

Email stumbles in digital paradigm shift

"When there is something better out there, you can’t help trying to find it. You fall prey to the…"

Sunday, February 5th, 2012 at 4:30 pm
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“When there is something better out there, you can’t help trying to find it. You fall prey to the tyranny of choice—the idea that people, when faced with too many options, find it harder to make a selection.”

Online Dating: Sex, Love, and Loneliness : The New Yorker

"One-quarter of Americans say they will not go to the bathroom without their devices."

Monday, January 30th, 2012 at 8:53 pm
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“One-quarter of Americans say they will not go to the bathroom without their devices.”

The Rise of the Toilet Texter – NYTimes.com

"The economic downturn in 2008 adversely affected investors’ opinions about wealth managers…."

Thursday, January 19th, 2012 at 5:35 pm
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“The economic downturn in 2008 adversely affected investors’ opinions about wealth managers. Regaining their trust will require reaching and communicating with them through more dynamic channels, including social media.”

Tweet by MichaelKitces

"One thing that no all-in-one investment product does well is manage taxes. Almost everything…"

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012 at 3:36 pm
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“One thing that no all-in-one investment product does well is manage taxes. Almost everything complicated about investing comes down to taxes. We have all these different accounts (401(k), Roth IRA, 529 college savings plan, taxable brokerage account) that are taxed in different ways.

To make matters worse, different investments are taxed differently. Interest on bonds is taxable at your ordinary income rate. Most stock dividends are taxed at a lower rate. Then there’s short-term and long-term capital gains rates, which range from zero to 35%, depending on… Oh, let’s not get into it.

What this means, in short, is that if you have a mix of taxable and tax-advantaged investment accounts, like a 401(k) plus a regular brokerage account, it’s a bad idea to reproduce the same portfolio in both places. You’ll pay more tax than necessary. Automated services like Wealthfront or target-date funds don’t take this into account. They can build you a nice diversified portfolio, but if it doesn’t consider your tax situation, it’s not the best portfolio for you.

Traditional financial advisors are good at playing this tax game.”

Are Portfolio Management Apps Right for You? | MintLife Blog | Personal Finance News & Advice

"bank and credit union executives say their organization’s lack of marketing investment is what holds…"

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012 at 3:04 pm
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“bank and credit union executives say their organization’s lack of marketing investment is what holds them back, this despite the fact that nearly half saw their budgets increase in 2012. They also feel that their I.T. systems are limiting, that it’s difficult to get employee support for marketing initiatives, and (of course) there’s always a boatload of compliance headaches.”

Tweet by brettking

"As active managers, we believe that unexpected market events happen frequently, and that the tails…"

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012 at 2:06 pm
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“As active managers, we believe that unexpected market events happen frequently, and that the tails of a normal probability curve don’t accurately account for their likelihood. We also think risk can be managed: Viewed through the lens of the market cycle, wise investors should take less risk when the economy is going to contract, when other investors are overly enthusiastic, and when risk assets are expensive or overvalued. On the other hand, informed investors should take more risk when the economy is expanding, when other investors are overly depressed, and when risk assets are cheap. We believe that short-term market movements (measured in days) are impossible to forecast, but that over the market cycle, we can assign probabilities for both the news and investor response to it; that helps us determine how best to manage risk in our client accounts.”

Managing Different Kinds of Risk

"The funds, which have become an integral part of many Americans’ 401(k) plans, are designed to…"

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012 at 1:41 pm
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“The funds, which have become an integral part of many Americans’ 401(k) plans, are designed to protect investors by decreasing their exposure to stocks and increasing their bond holdings as people get closer to retirement, or their “target” year. But the average fund with about four years until its target date fell 0.4% in 2011, according to Morningstar Inc., a fund-research firm. That trails the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index, which gained 2%, including dividends, and is well below the Barclays Capital Aggregate Bond Index, which rose nearly 8% for the year.”

Target-Date Funds End Another Year Far Away From Bull’s-Eye – WSJ.com

"Index funds tend to beat actively managed funds over time given their low costs."

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012 at 1:20 pm
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“Index funds tend to beat actively managed funds over time given their low costs.”

Fund Expenses More Important Than 5-Star Status – NYTimes.com

"If past performance is any indication of future returns, it’s not surprising that investors…"

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012 at 9:30 am
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“If past performance is any indication of future returns, it’s not surprising that investors are skeptical of the mutual fund industry. In the past five years, more than two-thirds of the 5,000-plus funds followed by Morningstar have done worse than the underlying stock and bond indexes they’re supposed to beat, or at least track. That sorry performance has left millions of people fuming and frustrated — to the point where investors have yanked $340 billion out of stock funds since January 2008.”

The Top 100 Mutual Funds – SmartMoney.com

"Schwab, like other 401(k) providers, found efforts to educate employees haven’t proven so…"

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012 at 9:28 am
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“Schwab, like other 401(k) providers, found efforts to educate employees haven’t proven so successful — and only 10% of workers take advantage of such offerings. So the company just announced a new index-fund-only 401(k), which will keep expenses down, and include mandatory advice on investments. “Many employees don’t understand what they are losing to expenses — sometimes 55 to 110 basis points,” says Jim McCool, an executive vice president at Schwab. “They don’t realize what a drag it is on their retirement savings.””

Secrets of the 401(k) Millionaires – SmartMoney.com

"the secret behind Google’s somewhat bland design was that if Google looked like it was designed by a…"

Saturday, January 14th, 2012 at 11:26 pm
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“the secret behind Google’s somewhat bland design was that if Google looked like it was designed by a machine, users would implicitly understand that Google search itself was unpolluted by strong opinions”

is-too-much-plus-is-a-minus-for-google

"As it turns out, people are not very good at predicting what will make them happy and how long that…"

Saturday, January 14th, 2012 at 10:58 pm
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“As it turns out, people are not very good at predicting what will make them happy and how long that happiness will last. They expect positive events to make them much happier than those events actually do, and they expect negative events to make them unhappier than they actually do. In both field and lab studies, we’ve found that winning or losing an election, gaining or losing a romantic partner, getting or not getting a promotion, passing or failing an exam—all have less impact on happiness than people think they will. A recent study showed that very few experiences affect us for more than three months. When good things happen, we celebrate for a while and then sober up. When bad things happen, we weep and whine for a while and then pick ourselves up and get on with it.”

The Science Behind the Smile – Harvard Business Review

"It’s the last goodbye I swear I can’t survive On a half hearted love That will never be…"

Saturday, January 14th, 2012 at 10:26 pm
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“It’s the last goodbye I swear

I can’t survive

On a half hearted love

That will never be whole”

last goodbye, the kills

"Bank analyst Nancy Bush says with businesses and consumers still focused on reducing debt, there…"

Saturday, January 14th, 2012 at 1:37 pm
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Bank analyst Nancy Bush says with businesses and consumers still focused on reducing debt, there just is not the same need for financial services as a whole as there was before.

“And that’s why you’re seeing the banks respond to the present environment with layoffs, branch closures, etc.,” she says. “We just don’t need them anymore; it’s that simple.”



Layoffs Hit Wall Street As Financial Needs Change
– WNYC

"readers crave authentic voice in the digital era"

Saturday, January 14th, 2012 at 1:35 pm
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“readers crave authentic voice in the digital era”

What a Blockbuster Forbes Post Says About the Tyranny and Future of the Page View – Forbes

"according to Vanguard, over the past decade more than sixty per cent of actively managed mutual…"

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012 at 5:29 pm
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“according to Vanguard, over the past decade more than sixty per cent of actively managed mutual funds underperformed the S. & P., while hedge funds have trailed the market since 2003”

Human Nature and a Volatile Stock Market : The New Yorker

"Navigating such unpredictability requires investors to rely less on historical short cuts and,…"

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012 at 9:10 am
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“Navigating such unpredictability requires investors to rely less on historical short cuts and, instead, spend more time decomposing asset classes into their constituent risk factors. Moreover, they need to internalize a much broader set of correlations, pursue a more global opportunity set, and mitigate risk not only by diversifying but also by using active tail hedging aimed at protecting against the bad extremes of possible outcomes.”

Mohamed El-Erian: Investing in a ‘Fat Tail’ World – WSJ.com

"The amount of dollars available for gaming in the region is finite, however, and what we see are…"

Monday, January 9th, 2012 at 7:23 am
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“The amount of dollars available for gaming in the region is finite, however, and what we see are states trying to get their share of the pie.”

It s State Against State as Northeast Scrambles for Gambling Bonanza – The Bond Buyer Article

"The stampede of investors away from actively managed mutual funds and toward index-based…"

Monday, January 9th, 2012 at 7:08 am
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“The stampede of investors away from actively managed mutual funds and toward index-based exchange-traded funds continued in 2011, with an important twist. It was a year in which investors poured a record percentage of their money into bond ETFs.”

When Indexing Isn’t Ideal

"America’s elders our most credible experts on one thing. Even though you might not go to them…"

Saturday, January 7th, 2012 at 12:05 pm
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“America’s elders our most credible experts on one thing. Even though you might not go to them to learn how to reprogram the VCR, they are the truest experts on living well through hard times.”

New Book Illustrates Life Lessons From an Older Generation | PBS NewsHour | Jan. 5, 2012 | PBS

"Which raises the question: is it that social media in really ineffective for growing a practice, or…"

Monday, January 2nd, 2012 at 12:16 pm
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“Which raises the question: is it that social media in really ineffective for growing a practice, or is it just that our woes with social media are representative of our ongoing difficulties in clearly defining the value we provide and the target clientele we wish to reach, leaving referrals as the only option left?”

Is Social Media An Effective Tool To Grow A Planning

Practice? – Nerd’s Eye View
(via Findings.com)

"In cities around the nation, similar ideas have emerged: streetlight user fees, private security…"

Friday, December 30th, 2011 at 9:00 pm
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“In cities around the nation, similar ideas have emerged: streetlight user fees, private security lights, even optional “adopt-a-light” programs comparable to road sponsorships.”

Cities’ Cost Cuttings Leave Residents in the Dark – NYTimes.com