Looks Matter More Than Reputation When It Comes to Trusting People With Our Money: Ever wonder why the best salespeople always seem to be the prettiest? There’s a reason behind that. Our animal brains are naturally drawn to beauty and so we also happen to trust pretty people more. This is why your local car commercial put the prettiest girl on staff into the for no apparent reason. It’s also why sex sells. But no one has ever really applied that concept to money management until now. Researchers proved that even a pretty advisor with a sketchy reputation will get more money than a less attractive one with an exemplary record.
Financial Literacy: U.S. Trails … Brazil and Mexico? As scary as this sounds, many developing nations are more financially literate than Americans are. Worse for everyone, not a single country managed a passing grade in financial literacy. So even if you’re at the top, it just makes you the smartest of the dummies.
The Economic Case for Same-Sex Marriage: Two economists (who happen to be married) explain not only why more people are starting to support gay marriage, but also why people really get married in the first place.
Are Voters Just Rooting for Clothes? You’d like to think that you pick a candidate for the values they believe in. When someone is running for office you usually vote for the one that is the most like you. They have the same economic, societal, or political beliefs as you. For example, one might vote for a candidate because they believe the president can influence the economy and the current president has not done so. They want a candidate that says they’ll do that. But what if the case was that instead of voting for the candidate with the issues you believe in, you’re just voting for the one you like the most, and you change your stance on the issues? Sounds a bit confusing, but this post provides a number examples ranging from gas prices to health care. Here’s another article on the same subject.
Economics Is Not Math: I’ve agreed before that economics is not a science. This is a post that points out economics is also not math. It’s along the same vein as my post, but also takes the topic in a different direction. Far too often economists use math to make a point. Math can make a point because math can’t be argued. But economists rely on assumptions behind their math. And those assumptions can always be argued.
To Stay Thin, Eat Like the Cultural Elite: Reading won’t help you lose weight in the sense of burning calories, but it may help in other ways. When we are intellectually stimulated we’re much less likely to be interested in eating or drinking. This coincides with many of us eating or drinking when we’re bored. I’ll take this one step further though. When you are reading or doing something interesting, don’t do it in the kitchen. Because at that point it’s still easy to get distracted. Go to a quiet place with no distractions, and just focus on the words in front of you. The pounds may fall off.
Advertising masked as science? Pharmaceutical companies may run arguably bogus studies to get more people hooked on their drugs while the FDA has little regulating authority over the process.
Why the Nobel Prize payout is shrinking: The Nobel Prize is basically an endowment that must keep growing in order to continue paying out the prizes. The fund would have been long exhausted if it had been kept in cash. Now that investment returns have been poor for a number of years, the foundation that hands out the awards is cutting back on expenditures, including the payout of the prize.