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    Dr. Marcinko is originally from Loyola University MD, Temple University in Philadelphia and the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center in PA; as well as Oglethorpe University and Emory University in Georgia, the Atlanta Hospital & Medical Center; Kellogg-Keller Graduate School of Business and Management in Chicago, and the Aachen City University Hospital, Koln-Germany. He became one of the most innovative global thought leaders in medical business entrepreneurship today by leveraging and adding value with strategies to grow revenues and EBITDA while reducing non-essential expenditures and improving dated operational in-efficiencies.

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    As a state licensed life, P&C and health insurance agent; and dual SEC registered investment advisor and representative, Marcinko was Founding Dean of the fiduciary and niche focused CERTIFIED MEDICAL PLANNER® chartered professional designation education program; as well as Chief Editor of the three print format HEALTH DICTIONARY SERIES® and online Wiki Project.

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Dr. Richard H. Thaler and Behavioral Economics

A behavioral scientist 2017 

By Rick Kahler MS CFP®

Human beings make most of our decisions—including financial ones—emotionally, not logically. Unfortunately, too much of the time, our emotions lead us into financial choices that aren’t good for our financial well-being. This is hardly news to financial planners or financial therapists. Nor is it a surprise to any parent who has ever struggled to teach kids how to manage money wisely.

Economic Model Assumptions

Yet many of the economic models and theories related to investing are based on assumptions that, when it comes to money, people act rationally and in their own best interests. There’s a wide gulf between the way economists assume people behave around money and the way people actually make money choices. This doesn’t encourage financial advisors to rely on what economists say about financial patterns, trends, and what to expect from markets or consumers.

2017 Nobel Prize in Economics

It’s significant, then, that the 2017 Nobel Prize in Economics went to Dr. Richard H. Thaler, professor of behavioral science and economics at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Dr. Thaler’s work has focused on the differences between logical economic assumptions and real-world human behavior. His research not only demonstrates that people behave emotionally when it comes to money; it also shows that in many ways our irrational economic behavior is predictable.

This predictability can help advisors and organizations find ways to encourage people to make financial decisions in their own better interest. The book Nudge, by Dr. Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein, describes some of those methods.

Example:

One example is making participation the default option for company retirement programs like 401(k)’s. Employees are free to opt out, of course, but they need to actively choose to do so.

A second example is the “Save More Tomorrow” plan, which offers employees the option of automatically increasing their savings whenever they receive raises in the future.

Both of these examples rely on a predictable behavior—human inertia. Most of us tend to postpone, ignore, or forget to take action even when that action would be good for us. So if a system is set up so not taking action leaves us with the choice that serves us better, we are “nudged” toward helping ourselves toward a healthier financial future.

Integration

As one of the pioneers in integrating the emotional aspect of money behavior into the practice of financial planning, I’ve long since come to understand that managing money is about much more than numbers. The world of investing may seem to be cold and calculating, but it’s actually driven by emotions. I’m familiar with the work of researchers who have demonstrated that some 90% of all financial decisions are made emotionally rather than logically.

I was pleased in 2002 when one of those researchers, psychologist Daniel Kahneman, won the Nobel prize in economics for his studies of human behavioral biases and systematic irrational behaviors. (That research was done jointly with psychologist Amos Tversky, who died in 1996.)

I’m even more pleased to see the economics Nobel prize go to a behavioral researcher for the second time. Maybe the realm of economics is beginning to integrate the untidy realities of human emotions into its theories. Eventually, this might lead to new economic models that take into account the emotions that shape people’s money decisions and the fact that money is one of the most emotionally charged aspects of our lives.

Assessment

Perhaps economists are beginning to appreciate the truth of the statement Dr. Thaler made at a news conference after his prize was announced. “In order to do good economics, you have to keep in mind that people are human.”

Conclusion

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***

On Prospect Theory

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And … the reality of decision making!

By David Shahrestani

In the early 1980s, Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tverskey proved in numerous experiments that the reality of decision making differed greatly from the assumptions held by economists.

They published their findings in Prospect Theory: An analysis of decision making under risk, which quickly became one of the most cited papers in all of economics. To […]

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Human Nature #9: Prospect Theory — Wiser Daily

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Conclusion

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Video on Six Costly Investment Behaviors

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Pathetic results compared to the markets

[Principal of MZ Capital Management]

[Contributor to Morningstar and Physicians Practice]

Most investors are very good at hurting themselves financially. According to latest release of Dalbar’s Quantitative Analysis of Investor Behavior (QAIB), the average investor has a return of only 2.6% over the last ten years. That’s pathetic compared to what the markets gave. See the chart below, over the same period, the S&P 500 gave an annualized return of 7.4% and the bond market gave 4.6%.

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Investor behaviors are such a big drag on investment returns that Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman, an Israeli American, advised Israel’s Pension Authority to send out statements once a quarter instead of once a month. Since when Israel’s pensioners don’t get their statements, they don’t do stupid things to their accounts.

So what are those behaviors that are so costly to investment returns? Please watch this five minute long video produced by Independence Advisors.

In a nutshell, the emotional reactions (such as herding) that had helped our hunter-gatherer forebears survive so well and thus are hard-wired into our brains are literally hazardous to successful investing. In a way, the value of an advisor like myself is to separate your emotions from your money.

Assessment

So, how does this relate to physicians and other medical professionals; better or worse?

Conclusion

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A Brief Historical Review of Behavioral Finance and Economics

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And Related Influential Thought-Leaders

  • Dr. Brad Klontz CSAC CFP®
  • Dr. Ted Klontz PsyD
  • Dr. Eugene Schmuckler MBA MEd CTS
  • Dr. Kenneth Shubin-Stein FACP CFA
  • Dr. David Edward Marcinko MEd MBA CMP™

***

doctor

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James O. Prochaska PhD, Professor of Psychology and Director of the Cancer Prevention Research Center at the University of Rhode Island, developed the Trans-Theoretic Model of Behavior Change [TTM] which has been evolving since in 1977. Nominated as one of the five most influential authors in Psychology, by the Institute for Scientific Information and the American Psychological Society, Dr. Prochaska is author of more than 300 papers on behavior change for health promotion and disease prevention.

TTM Stages of Change

In his Trans-Theoretical Model, behavior change is a “process involving progress through a series of these stages:

  • Pre-Contemplation (Not Ready) – “People are not intending to take action in the foreseeable future, and can be unaware that their behavior is problematic”
  • Contemplation (Getting Ready) – “People are beginning to recognize that their behavior is problematic, and start to look at the pros and cons of their continued actions”
  • Preparation (Ready) – “People are intending to take action in the immediate future, and may begin taking small steps toward behavior change”
  • Action – “People have made specific overt modifications in changing their problem behavior or in acquiring new healthy behaviors”
  • Maintenance – “People have been able to sustain action for a while and are working to prevent relapse”
  • Termination – “Individuals have zero temptation and they are sure they will not return to their old unhealthy habit as a way of coping”

Relapse

In addition, researchers conceptualized “relapse” (recycling) which is not a stage in itself but rather the “return from Action or Maintenance to an earlier stage.” In medical care, these stages of behavior change have applicability to anti-hypertension and lipid lowering medication use, as well as depression prevention, weight control and smoking cessation.

***

Psychology

***

Uniting Psychology and Financial Behavior

More recently, validating the emerging alliance between psychology (human behavior) and finance (economics) are two Americans who won the Royal Swedish Academy of Science’s 2002 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Science. Their research was nothing short of an explanation for the idiosyncrasies incumbent in human financial decision-making outcomes.

Enter Kahneman and Smith

Daniel Kahneman, PhD, professor of psychology at Princeton University, and Vernon L. Smith, PhD, professor of economics at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., shared the prize for work that provided insight on everything from stock market bubbles, to regulating utilities, and countless other economic activities. In several cases, the winners tried to explain apparent financial paradoxes.

For example, Professor Kahneman made the economically puzzling discovery that most of his subjects would make a 20-minute trip to buy a calculator for $10 instead of $15, but would not make the same trip to buy a jacket for $120 instead of $125, saving the same $5.

in vitro and in-vivo Economics

Initially, in the 1960’s, Smith set out to demonstrate how economic theory worked in the laboratory (in vitro), while Kahneman was more interested in the ways economic theory mis-predicted people in real-life (in-vivo). He tested the limits of standard economic choice theory in predicting the actions of real people, and his work formalized laboratory techniques for studying economic decision making, with a focus on trading and bargaining.

Later, Smith and Kahneman together were among the first economists to make experimental data a cornerstone of academic output. Their studies included people playing games of cooperation and trust, and simulating different types of markets in a laboratory setting. Their theories assumed that individuals make decisions systematically, based on preferences and available information, in a way that changes little over time, or in different contexts.

University of Chicago

By the late 1970’s, Richard H. Thaler, PhD, an economist at the University of Chicago also began to perform behavioral experiments further suggesting irrational wrinkles in standard financial theory and behavior, enhancing the still embryonic but increasingly popular theories of Kahneman and Smith.

Laboratory

Other economists’ laboratory experiments used ideas about competitive interactions pioneered by game theorists like John Forbes Nash Jr., PhD, who shared the Nobel in 1994, as points of reference.

Assessment

But, Kahneman and Smith often concentrated on cases where people’s actions departed from the systematic, rational strategies that Nash envisioned. Psychologically, this was all a precursor to the informal concept of life or holistic financial planning. Kahneman was awarded the Medal of Freedom, by President Barack Obama, on November 20, 2013.

READ: Behavioral Economics and Psychology DEM

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Conclusion

Your thoughts and comments on this ME-P are appreciated. Feel free to review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, URLs and related websites, too. Then, subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure.

Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Medical Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com

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More on Money Psychology

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By Rick Kahler MS CFP® ChFC CCIM http://www.KahlerFinancial.com

Rick Kahler CFPAnyone who sent a check to the IRS this month certainly doesn’t need to be convinced that there is a relationship between money and feelings. I can personally attest that paying a hefty tax brings up a great deal of painful emotion.

Unification

The case for the union of money and psychology is overwhelming. Almost everyone experiences fear, sadness, grief, anger, or happiness around money events. Large life events like divorce, death, bankruptcy, losing a job, and selling a home clearly involve money and evoke emotions.

We may be less likely to notice the psychological aspects of smaller money events. Yet even acts like paying monthly bills, buying birthday gifts, or shopping for groceries have an emotional component.

The Research

Researchers like psychologist Daniel Kahneman PhD (who won the Nobel prize in economics) find that 90% of all financial decisions are made emotionally, not logically. Even the seemingly cold and calculating world of investing is driven by emotions. Economic theory is being set on its head as economist are slowly coming to realize that, regarding money, consumers often don’t make rational decisions that are in their best interests.

Yet 18 years after a small group of pioneering financial planners and therapists first met to explore the relationship of emotions and money, the field of financial psychology is still in its infancy. It’s really no wonder.

The Money Side

On the money side of the equation, we have institutions like large brokerage houses, insurance companies, and banks. Like all businesses, they need to be profitable. Any concern these institutions may have about the union of finance and psychology is likely to focus on ways to manipulate customers’ emotions in order to sell more of their goods and services.

The Emotional Side

On the emotional side, psychologists and therapists rarely mention money issues. When they do talk about money, it’s often in the context of their own fees. Their training doesn’t address the idea that both they and their clients may have emotional issues or beliefs around money that could be destructive.

Tax

The Gap

This leaves a big gap. In the middle of it are consumers who don’t know how to develop healthier patterns of behavior around money. They may overspend to relieve stress, feel overwhelmed by credit card debt, be unreasonably fearful about financial security, be overly trusting or overly suspicious, or give or lend too much to family members.

Some of these consumers have at least some idea that their destructive financial patterns are psychological. They may realize they need more than financial facts to change those patterns. Yet they may have no idea where to find the help they need.

More:

The Financial Planners

The one group of professionals that is moving to fill that need is client-focused financial planners. Unlike advisors who sell financial products, client-focused financial planners receive no commissions but charge fees for their advice. By law, they must act as fiduciaries and advocates for their clients.

Historically, financial planners have not embraced the notion of money psychology. Obtaining the Certified Financial Planner® designation still requires no formal training even in client communications or conflict resolution. Yet a small but growing group of client-centered financial planners is seeking out training in psychology and communication. A few even partner with financial therapists.

Assessment

The challenge for consumers is how to find these professionals. One source is the Financial Therapy Association, which has a list on its website at http://www.financialtherapyassociation.org.

Gradually, more consumers as well as professionals are realizing that it’s possible to combine financial knowledge and psychology to create more balanced relationships with money. This awareness is sure to increase the demand for financial psychology services. It will be exciting to watch this infant profession as it grows.

Conclusion

Your thoughts and comments on this ME-P are appreciated. Feel free to review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, URLs and related websites, too. Then, subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure.

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Understanding Behavioral Finance and Economics

Historical Review

By: Dr. David Edward Marcinko; MBA, CMP™

By: Eugene Schmuckler; PhD, MBA, CTS

By: Dr. Kenneth H. Shubin-Stein, CFA

By: Richard B. Wagner; JD, CFP®

fp-book

Validating the emerging alliance between psychology (human behavior) and finance (economics) is the fact that two Americans won the Royal Swedish Academy of Science’s, 2002 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Science. Their research was nothing short of an explanation for the idiosyncrasies incumbent in human financial decision-making outcomes.

The Pioneers

Daniel Kahneman, PhD, professor of psychology at Princeton University, and Vernon L. Smith, PhD, professor of economics at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., shared the prize for work that provided insight on everything from stock market bubbles, to regulating utilities, and countless other economic activities. In several cases, the winners tried to explain apparent financial paradoxes.

The Experiments

For example, Professor Kahneman made the economically puzzling discovery that most of his subjects would make a 20-minute trip to buy a calculator for $10 instead of $15, but would not make the same trip to buy a jacket for $120 instead of $125, saving the same $5.

Initially, in the 1960’s, Smith set out to demonstrate how economic theory worked in the laboratory (in vitro), while Kahneman was more interested in the ways economic theory mis-predicted people in real-life (in-vivo). He tested the limits of standard economic choice theory in predicting the actions of real people, and his work formalized laboratory techniques for studying economic decision making, with a focus on trading and bargaining.

Academe’

Later, Smith and Kahneman together were among the first economists to make experimental data a cornerstone of academic output. Their studies included people playing games of cooperation and trust, and simulating different types of markets in a laboratory setting. Their theories assumed that individuals make decisions systematically, based on preferences and available information, in a way that changes little over time, or in different contexts. By the late 1970’s, Richard H. Thaler, PhD, an economist at the University of Chicago also began to perform behavioral experiments further suggesting irrational wrinkles in standard financial theory and behavior, enhancing the still embryonic but increasingly popular theories of Kahneman and Smith.

Other Pioneers

Other economists’ laboratory experiments used ideas about competitive interactions pioneered by game theorists like John Forbes Nash Jr., PhD, who shared the Nobel in 1994, as points of reference. But, Kahneman and Smith often concentrated on cases where people’s actions depart from the systematic, rational strategies that Nash envisioned. Psychologically, this was all a precursor to the informal concept of life planning.

Enter the Financial Planners

Of course, comprehensive financial planners have always consulted with their clients regarding their goals and objectives, hopes and dreams, but typically from the point of view of money goals, rather than life ideals or business goals. The absence, or presence of biological and/or psychological reasons for them was never conceived, nor discussed. But, quantifying future subjective and objective goals, and doing a technical analysis of factors such as risk tolerance, age, insurance, tax, investing, retirement and estate planning needs, has certainly been the norm, especially for Certified Medical Planners (CMP).

Assessmentcmp-logo

Life planning and behavioral finance then, as proposed for physicians and integrated by the Institute of Medical Business Advisors (iMBA) is somewhat similar. Its uniqueness emanates from a holistic union of personal financial planning and medical practice management, solely for the healthcare space.  Unlike pure life planning, pure financial planning, or pure management theory, it is both a quantitative and qualitative “hard and soft” science. It has an ambitious economic, psychological and managerial niche value proposition never before proposed and codified, while still representing an evolving philosophy. Its’ zealous practitioners are called Certified Medical Planners (CMPs).

www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.org

Conclusion

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