many choices at grocery store

More choice is not always better

January 14, 2019

According to traditional economics, having more choice is better than having less choice. But that is often not the case in the real world. Behavioral economics professor and Nobel Laureate Richard Thaler shows us that sometimes we are better off when we limit our choices.

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storm clouds gathering

Preventing Elder Financial Abuse Program

December 26, 2018

As many of you know, preventing elder financial abuse is a topic that is near and dear to my heart. I am delighted to invite you to a program on January 21, 2019 in Chicago on what financial advisors, CPAs, tax preparation professionals, attorneys, and others who work with elders should know about how to protect clients from elder financial abuse. Not only is elder financial abuse devastating to the financial well-being of aging baby boomers, but research shows that it can lead to an early death. But how can we do this without alienating clients?  We will discuss relationship-enhancing  ways to make preventing elder financial abuse an integral part of your practice.

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Truth without proof program description

Truth without Proof? Blockchain on Trial

November 30, 2018

You have irrefutable proof of a blockchain transfer of bitcoin. But how do you get that blockchain transaction into evidence?  It is not as easy as you think. The Chicago Bar Association Financial and Emerging Technologies Committee, FinTEx, ChicagoBlockchainProject, ChicagoBlockchain Center and the Loyola University School of Law present this live demonstration of how legal practitioners can navigate the rules of evidence with respect to blockchain ledger entries and crypto-assets.

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old fashioned radio

Our past experiences affect our current investments

November 15, 2018

As human beings, we are influenced by all our past experiences. That means that our past experiences affect our current investments and other decisions. If your earliest investment experiences were during the 1970s — when interest rates were approaching 20% — you will forever think about investments differently than if your earliest investment experiences were during the dot.com bubble. This is why the research of behavioral economists like Nobelist Richard Thaler is so important for investors.

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elderly couple walking

Determining client capacity – ABA 10 Commandments

November 5, 2018

The American Bar Association recently published some very helpful guidance for lawyers in considering client capacity to make legal and other decisions. The most important directive is that the correct question is NOT whether a client has capacity — it is whether a client has capacity TO DO A PARTICULAR THING.

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magnifying glass and circuit board

Insurance coverage for SEC investigation of your ICO?

November 5, 2018

A question that businesses contemplating an initial coin offering (ICO) should consider is whether they have insurance coverage for an SEC or other government investigation. This is an excellent analysis of the question on the D&O Diary. Guest Post: ICO-Related Claims and Insurance Coverage: Questions You Should be Asking

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Grim reaper

Collateralized debt obligations are back – that is scary!

October 26, 2018

Collateralized debt obligations rise from the dead A frightening Halloween development – the rise from the dead of collateralized debt obligations ( CDOs). These little darlings nearly brought down the entire financial system in 2008. But the fees that CDOs generate are just too attractive for financial firms to pass them up. And even if they blew up and contributed to the Great Recession, nobody went to jail.

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smartphone and investment decisions

Smartphone – bad investment decisions

October 24, 2018

Investment decisions based on smartphone research We think that using our smartphones to do research — including research for investment decisions — is a good thing. After all, how could using this tool to access more information be bad?   It turns out smartphones and investing go together like peanut butter and tuna fish. Two things that are just fine on their own but should not be combined.

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digital coins

Digital Coins, Tokens, Cryptocurrencies for Beginners

September 29, 2018

Digital Coins Digital coins, virtual coins, tokens, or cryptocurrencies are bits of computer code. What makes this computer code special is that it is created on something called a “blockchain.” Blockchain technology allows people to engage in financial transactions directly with each other, without a bank or other financial intermediary. Transactions taking place on a blockchain are protected through cryptography and recorded on thousands of identical computer ledgers all over the world. There are some great introductions to blockchain technology and bitcoin that you can watch on YouTube. Here are a few I have blogged about previously. http://bit.ly/2xKWjWS http://bit.ly/2Iowr70  

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Regrets of creator of collateralized mortgage obligation

September 7, 2018

Lew Ranieri regrets creating the CMO “‘I’m the guy who played a central role in this home thing and I regret it because…it got abused beyond everybody’s imagination, ‘” says Lewis Ranieri, creator of the collateralized mortgage obligation (CMO), according to the Wall Street Journal. Ranieri’s creation of the CMO was nifty financial engineering by a sophisticated Wall Street investment banker that revolutionized the home mortgage market. But the CMO ended up being a financial weapon of mass destruction that crashed the global economy in 2008. The CMO brought us the Great Recession, from which we are still recovering.

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