Marina’s Monetary Musings: Invest your tuppence wisely – or better yet, feed the birds

Much has happened since I began writing this column more than two years ago: the UK has voted for Brexit, Donald Trump has been elected US president and new trade tariffs have been imposed. But some things haven’t changed. In my first column, I argued that cutting out your daily cappuccino won’t make you the next Wolf of Wall Street. Whenever it’s suggested that it … Continue reading Marina’s Monetary Musings: Invest your tuppence wisely – or better yet, feed the birds

Marina’s Monetary Musings: Mirror, mirror on the wall – who is the best one of all?

There is a belief that people with psychopathic traits – like aggression, cold charm and a ruthless lack of empathy – do well in the financial industry. So a team of academics, led by Leanne ten Brinke, a social psychologist at the University of Denver, set out to investigate if that’s the case. Her team studied the video interviews of 101 hedge fund managers. The … Continue reading Marina’s Monetary Musings: Mirror, mirror on the wall – who is the best one of all?

Marina’s Monetary Musings: How to become an ‘effective altruist’

Large charities embroiled in scandals have brought charitable giving into disrepute, from Oxfam staff who sexually exploited victims of the Haiti earthquake, to harassment at Save the Children. But the failure of these charities should not put you off donating. Indeed, the philosopher Peter Singer argued that ‘if you are living comfortably while others are hungry or dying from easily preventable diseases, and you are … Continue reading Marina’s Monetary Musings: How to become an ‘effective altruist’

Marina’s Monetary Musings: The avocado cruise

Yet more unhelpful advice for millennials: Barclays has joined the admonishing chorus by announcing that millennial couples need to stop spending an average £3,500 on annual cruises or £5,946 a year on eating out twice a week. First, it’s unlikely that many millennials go on cruises, a distinctly octogenarian activity. Secondly, if we drill down into the cost of eating out calculated, we get to … Continue reading Marina’s Monetary Musings: The avocado cruise

Money Observer: First money memories

What’s your first memory of money? Psychoanalysts could have a field day unravelling how people’s first memories shape their views of finance. So, what do you remember? I remember finding a bundle of German banknotes in the playground. I gave the notes to my mother, who asked around at the kindergarten to see if anyone had lost money, but nobody came forward. In the end … Continue reading Money Observer: First money memories

Money Observer: Who is wealthy?

As this column is dedicated to money matters, one question we should probably consider is a very basic one: what is wealth? The Oxford Dictionary says it’s ‘an abundance of valuable possessions or money.’ According to Coutts, the Queen’s private bank, anyone who can deposit £1 million is eligible to join the club. At HSBC, it takes £50,000 in savings or an annual income of … Continue reading Money Observer: Who is wealthy?

Money Observer: Where automation only half-replaces humans

Much has been written about how automation will replace humans in the workplace. But what about those who have only been half replaced? I met some of them recently. I was walking through the electronic passport control gates at Frankfurt airport. I pressed my passport onto the glass screen and the gates swung open to reveal two people sitting behind a high counter. I showed … Continue reading Money Observer: Where automation only half-replaces humans

Money Observer: Why money buys happiness sometimes

Literary critics are not usually known for their views on money. But the German critic Marcel Reich-Ranicki supposedly said that ‘money doesn’t buy you happiness, but if you’re sad, it’s better to cry in a cab than on a tram.’ This seems logical, and yet it may depend on whether or not you’re an introvert. The relationship between money and happiness has spawned many theories. … Continue reading Money Observer: Why money buys happiness sometimes

Money Observer: Three financial lessons from Nobel prize winner Richard Thaler

How do we decide what to buy and how much to save, and how do we experience these financial transactions? For his work in answering questions such as these, the US economist Richard Thaler won the Nobel Prize in economics yesterday (October 9). Thaler, who is a professor at Chicago Booth business school, is best known for co-writing the bestseller ‘Nudge’, which explored how people … Continue reading Money Observer: Three financial lessons from Nobel prize winner Richard Thaler

Money Observer: The easiest way to travel to Germany is by train

I have lived in London for many years, and I still can’t tell King’s Cross from St Pancras station. But I know where platform 9¾ to Hogwarts is, and I also know that the easiest way to travel to Germany is by train. Whenever I fly, I have to leave the house at the crack of dawn, rely on my train to be on time, … Continue reading Money Observer: The easiest way to travel to Germany is by train