Ian's list

Top picks from the web on money and your life, from ING economist Ian Bright – May 19, 2015

Pay more today

Pay more today

Marketers have found people can be made to overpay for services initially, receiving a monthly bill for a regular amount, because they like getting a refund later on. The Rotman School of Management study finds, counterintuitively, that users are more willing to recommend the firm, less focused on payment size, and less likely to switch providers. The effect only holds if the amount is slightly too high – otherwise resentment kicks in, it says.

Physical effects

Physical effects

Many of us want more than we already have. But research shows that when money is scarce the desire to acquire material goods increases, as opposed to investing in experiences. We look for long-lasting benefits when funds are limited, the report explains. "Choosing such purchases enables consumers to build an inventory of resources, guaranteeing that – even if they cannot make a later purchase – they will still have something," it says.

Confidence trick

Confidence trick

Investors that try to time their market activities are overconfident; if you want to do well you should buy and hold instead, according to a Finance Magnates article. Writer Alexander Wetterling cites research showing active trading is hazardous because "most of the best days in the market come after the worst days. You run the risk of being out of the market at just the wrong time." Yet most would say they are above-average investors if asked, he adds.

InvestingIrrationalOverconfidence

Ian Bright
Ian Bright

Senior economist at ING
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