Financial Decoder

Financial Decoder

Cognitive and emotional biases can have a big impact on your financial life. Each episode of Financial Decoder looks closely at one financial decision--and the biases that might cloud your judgment and cost you money. Host Mark Riepe, head of the Schwab Center for Financial Research, decodes the behavioral and psychological factors at play and shares strategies designed to improve the way you approach financial crossroads. Other experts join Mark to provide their unique perspective on behavioral economics, portfolio management, retirement planning, personal finance and more. Podcasts are for informational purposes only. This channel is not monitored by Charles Schwab. Please visit schwab.com/contactus for contact options.... Show More

Episodes

August 1, 2019 17 min

Discussing what will happen to your children and your assets after you die might not sound like the most pleasant task. Is that why so many people don’t have wills or estate plans? Mark talks with Colleen O’Brien about what’s actually in an estate plan and how you can get started creating one. You can read more about the number of people without wills in this NBER working paper. The concept of “choice bracketing” is explored in th... Read more

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Saving for retirement can seem overwhelming—especially if you are 50 years old and haven’t saved nearly enough. Fortunately there are some provisions in the tax code that allow you to make additional contributions to tax-advantaged accounts. In this episode, Mark Riepe examines some of those provisions as well as a few biases that might actually help you get back on track. Mark is joined by Hayden Adams, director of tax and financi... Read more

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Trading is a crucible of emotions and analysis. During volatile markets and periods of economic change, it is common for regular investors to ask whether they should be more active with their portfolios. In this episode, Mark Riepe is joined by Randy Frederick, vice president of trading and derivatives at the Schwab Center for Financial Research. Mark and Randy review a list of biases that have an impact when you’re making trading ... Read more

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May 20, 2019 29 min

After saving up your whole life, is it finally the right time to retire? It’s a complex decision with a lot of variables. In this episode, Mark Riepe examines how affective forecasting and optimism bias could hinder you from making the best decision. Mark talks with Robert Aruldoss, a senior research analyst for financial planning at the Schwab Center for Financial Research, about how much savings you should have, when you should s... Read more

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Your willingness and ability to take on risk in your portfolio has a significant effect on how your portfolio performs. However, perceptions of risk can be skewed by overconfidence, affective forecasting errors and other biases. In this episode, Mark Riepe explains how people’s tolerance for risk differs on a cognitive and emotional level, as well as how “risk capacity” is a more objective matter. Tobin McDaniel, Schwab’s SVP of Di... Read more

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April 7, 2019 38 min

The more stocks you own, the more diversified you are, right? Not necessarily. There could be other factors—including your own built-in biases—holding you back from creating a truly diversified portfolio.

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February 25, 2019 29 min

Most people with a 401(k) realize it’s critical to achieving their retirement goals, but what is the best way to take care of it and help it grow?

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February 10, 2019 30 min

As investors get closer to retirement, they often start to think more about bonds—and about reducing risk.

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January 27, 2019 20 min

If you’ve ever looked at investing in exchange-traded funds (or ETFs), how did you decide which were right for you? There might be some blind spots in your decision-making process.

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January 13, 2019 30 min

We all have goals. Juggling multiple goals in a world of finite time and money can be tough. Whatever your goal in life is, can you name the steps you need to take in order to actually achieve it? There’s clear evidence that the best way to achieve your financial goals is by starting with a plan.

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December 16, 2018 21 min

People are hardwired to value earning money more than saving it. In this episode, Mark Riepe and Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz discuss both saving and spending strategies.

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December 2, 2018 13 min

Calculating the performance of your portfolio can be tricky. If you don’t get it right, you might not be able to answer the pivotal question of whether or not you need adjust your mix of investments. How do your built-in biases affect the way you think about your investments’ performance? In this episode, Mark Riepe looks at some ways to mitigate common errors and avoid miscalculating past performance.

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November 18, 2018 23 min

Social Security is a complex topic. And if you’re nearing retirement, when to claim your benefits is a critical decision.

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November 4, 2018 19 min

In this episode of Financial Decoder, host Mark Riepe, head of the Schwab Center for Financial Research, examines the psychological forces that impact a common investing decision: What should you sell?

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October 29, 2018 2 min

In this new podcast, host Mark Riepe, head of the Schwab Center for Financial Research, unpacks important financial decisions and the biases that may prevent you from choosing wisely. Subscribe for free today to get the first episode when it launches November 5.

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