Sales pitch or sound advice – Part One

Individuals trying to plan, save and invest for their futures are increasingly seeking out professional advice. Unfortunately, many are forced to search through over 200 financial services designations with wide-ranging educational standards, legal obligations to clients, and compensation arrangements just to find the right help.

A 2008 landmark study conducted by the RAND Corporation concluded that although retail investors felt they understood the difference in services offered by various financial industry representatives, in fact, most had no idea. Angela Hung, the study’s lead author, a RAND economist with a Ph.D. from Caltech, remarked that even she found it difficult to disentangle the titles, services and business relationships of most of the industry participants. It is no surprise, then, that the typical consumer finds it nearly impossible. Read more

Stages of the financial life cycle

In my last blog I introduced the economic theory and field of study of life cycle finance, a principal goal of which is to construct a useable framework to help individuals improve their financial decision making to produce better monetary outcomes and maintain the smoothest and highest possible standard of living throughout their lives. Read more

What is life cycle finance?

Life cycle theory is one of the more exciting and useful areas of research in personal finance. In broad terms, it represents the body of economic theory and knowledge that examines how individuals can make wiser and more beneficial decisions about spending, saving, investing and insuring over their lifetimes. There are several concepts underlying life cycle theory. We’ll discuss two of them in this article. Read more