Here are three of the week’s top pieces of financial insight, gathered from around the web:
Actually, it is nice to be rich
Money can’t buy happiness? Think again, said Aimee Picchi in CBSNews.com. Nobel Prize-winning economist Daniel Kahneman famously published a 2010 study finding that “money could only boost happiness up to a point — about $75,000 in annual earnings.”Beyond that, “money had little impact.” Kahneman recently collaborated with Matthew Killingsworth — a critic of his original study — and found that “for most people, happiness does improve with higher earnings — up to $500,000 a year.” There is still “an unhappy group” of high earners whose salary above $100,000 “doesn’t make much of a difference” in alleviating their other miseries. “If you’re rich and miserable, money won’t help,” said Killingsworth.
Don’t bet against the market
TINA is still the queen of Wall Street, said Aaron Brown in Bloomberg. In financial parlance, TINA stands for “there is no alternative” to equities. “Starting about six months ago, analysts from top Wall Street firms began attacking TINA.” Goldman Sachs promoted TARA, “there are reasonable alternatives,” while Deutsche Bank coined TAPA (“there are plenty of alternatives”). But history has shown that “shunning stocks when prospects seem poor will miss more rallies than crashes.” When stocks are at least 10 percent below their peak, while bond yields are up, equities have gained 24.7 percent over inflation the next year. Consider also that a company’s share price represents an interest in future profits. If U.S. companies don’t make money, “everything else goes, too.” In that sense, “in the long run, we’re all betting on stocks.”
Dead vets’ families lost savings
A financial counselor is accused of gambling away $750,000 belonging to grieving Army families, said Alex Horton in The Washington Post. Caz Craffy was “one of 36 employees within the Army who provide financial counseling to survivors.” He worked with four military families that now allege he used their life insurance money for bets on investments like crypto and meme stocks “that earned him commissions of up to $4,500.” Craffy often executed brazen deals without asking the families. In one instance, he purchased “a single asset for $161,000,” representing a substantial portion of the account. That purchase lost more than 90 percent. When a grieving spouse grew suspicious last year, he warned her via text, “Don’t look at any statements.”
This article was first published in the latest issue of The Week magazine. If you want to read more like it, you can try six risk-free issues of the magazine here.