In no particular order, here’s a few interesting things I heard and read recently that I wanted to share:
Is America Ready for a “No-Lose Lottery” (Freakonomics Radio, by Stephen Dubner)
Sometimes when I listen to a podcast, I am so blown away by an idea that I can’t get it out of my mind. This is one of those podcasts. In this particular Freakonomics episode (accompanied with transcript), Dubner discusses the history and future potential of combining a bank savings account to a lottery system. The gist is that many people waste hundreds and thousands of dollars playing the lottery each year (with a HIGH probability of losing), and most of those same people are not doing much saving. So why not create incentive with a savings account at a bank that also serves as entry to a lottery game, where there are monthly prize winners!? In addition to large and small cash prizes each month, I would even think a bank could afford to pay all accounts a nominal interest as well. This bank/lottery idea would serve two purposes: encouraging saving and still giving people that “dream” that they could win money. This system has already experienced success in other countries, and if it can overcome some roadblocks in the US… I think it could have tremendous success. I would love to be part of the team to help implement it too! So my question for the half of Americans who play the lottery – wouldn’t you rather put those few extra bucks a week into a savings account and have that serve as your lottery entry? If I played the lottery, I know I would.
Things Worth Spending Max Money On For A Better Life (Financial Samurai)
Too often I have discussions with people on budgeting, and helping to identify ways to cut costs and save money on things. So I thought I would share this article to break things up a bit. Life isn’t always about saving, or being frugal, and there are certain things that you probably don’t want to skimp on. A great example is “investing” in a good mattress, since you spend much of your life on it and it’s indicative of good sleeping habits and health implications. And put some good sheets on it – you won’t regret it! In fact, most things tied to health and wellness should be worth a few extra dollars…from better quality food, to dental care, to the occasional massage. Other things I thought of worth considering (not listed in the article) are better quality toilet paper, “direct” airline flights, a good desk chair, and a good coffee maker. I believe that paying more for some of these things will “save” you in stress and time…making it worth the money. Please share any other things that YOU think are worth splurging on!
Effects of Super Bowl Winner on Stock Market (Zacks.com)
Many of you know that I am a lifelong, die-hard Philadelphia Eagles fan. I grew up outside of Philly so I love all their sports teams, and I have been to the Phillies World Series games as well as the last Eagles Superbowl in 2005. So it should come as no surprise that I want the Eagles to win (as does most of the US, apparently) and I just had to blog about them since I’m not sure when the Eagles will be here again. A well-known anomaly says that the winner of the Superbowl has been a strong indicator of how the stock market performs that year. You may hear some TV channels discussing this “Super Bowl Indicator” on the news this week. People have done studies on it, pointing out that the S&P 500 finishes higher 80% of the time when NFC teams win (which the Eagles are) versus when the AFC team wins it. So will it be just a coincidence if the market does well after an Eagles win, or will there be some truth to it? I happen to believe it would be purely a red/black roulette wheel coincidence, as I have not seen any evidence or proven indicators of how one is linked to the other. I will chalk this up as MYTH! Most recently, the Patriots won in 2017 (AFC team) and we had one of the best years in the market in recent memory! Worth noting however, is how the Super Bowl host city tends to experience stronger returns for companies in those cities, as the article suggests. Trust me – I would love to be able to give people another reason to root for the Eagles next weekend, but I would not let the Eagles fortunes dictate your investment outlook in 2018. Fly Eagles Fly!
Enjoy the light reading!