Florida and Freakonomics

Entirely missing all of the Snowzilla fun; I just returned late last week from the Inside ETFs conference in Hollywood, Florida. This conference is one of my favorite events all year—and not only because going to Florida in January should be a requirement for all of us in the DC area…


The main reason that I love going is because of the amazing line up of really brilliant speakers on both current and pressing economic and investment ideas…speakers like the Wizard of Wharton, Jeremy Siegel, bond guru Jeff Gundlach, and Shark Tank investor Kevin O’Leary talked about what they are seeing in the US and world economies as well as opportunities and threats for investors. The conference organizers also do a great job of inviting other interesting speakers, like Stephen Dubner.

Stephen Dubner is an award winning author, journalist, and radio personality—with his writing partner Steven Levitt, he is best known for applying economic theory to unusual subjects in their books, Freakonomics, SuperFreakonomics, and Think Like a Freak.

Dubner spoke to our group over lunch and entertained us with the economics behind why all turkeys are artificially inseminated in the United States, as well as crazy experiments with Capuchin monkeys and money. But, what really impacted me was a quick thought he tossed out: “We express our preferences and values very strongly through money.” He went on to add that a quick look through our bank accounts tells us volumes about what we hold most dear.

In our own experience, we’ve seen this so truly demonstrated with how our own families chose to spend their money—in my family, we spend a ton of money on our three children and on travel and experiences that broaden their horizons. When we reconcile accounts at the end of the year, we are dismayed at how much it costs to take a family of five to do anything…but we never regret that money being spent as we value the memories and benefits we gain.

What do you see when you look at your bank accounts? What do you prefer to spend money on? What do you value enough to spend your hard earned money to gain?

Categories : Financial Planning

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