One thing to notice about the recent turmoil in the American stock markets is how quickly volatility can pop up out of seemingly nowhere. Let me back up: volatility, loosely defined, is an adjective applied to things which change quickly and often without warning. It has made its way into many advanced fields – in […]
In part one on Monday, I wrote about how credit cards can provide short-term liquidity where emergency funds would typically be recommended. In this article, I will write about how most “emergencies” people list as reasons for an emergency fund are not true emergencies and can be easily planned for (and anything that is above […]
Yes, I know, most readers of this site tend to be of the younger variety – the type with young kids. However, being young and ‘invincible’ is no reason to be completely ignorant about the non-invincible folks in our society. Fact is, with increasing life expectancy comes an increasing amount of the so-called ‘diseases of old age’ (which aren’t necessarily restricted to our elders!).
As a genre of web sites, Personal Finance sites spend lots of time discussing and reviewing the best companies to enter into contracts with, and the best companies to do business with. There is also no shortage of reviews on companies which don’t live up to those same standards. One thing we don’t tend to touch? Companies which don’t want to do business with us.
As has been mentioned in previous articles, people from all demographics have a taste for gambling. As Personal Finance blogger, I may not seem like the type of person who is intrigued by lottery payouts, but here in the States the recent Mega Millions drawing was estimated at a lump sum payment of $462 million. If we assume a 1 in 176 million chance to win and a 50% tax rate, the expected value of a $1 lottery ticket seems to be $1.31! Additionally, losses are tax deductible against other gambling winngs (meaning that $1 may only cost you $0.75 or less) and a significant portion goes to fund state governments, very often in the form of education subsidies.
Why would a rational person purchase insurance yet also play the lottery?
It’s a question that has puzzled Economists (and fake Economists, like 2/3 of the staff at DQYDJ) for a long time. Think about it, a lottery is the exact opposite of insurance. When it comes to insurance, a person purchases coverage to hedge against risks. In a lottery, sums are spent for a long-shot chance at the ‘risk’ of a payoff. People are risk-seeking when it comes to playing the lottery yet risk-averse when it comes to purchasing insurance. What gives?
DQYDJ: surprising our readers with yet another week where we submit articles to a carnival! Maybe we’ll keep it going this time.
From the always-interesting website Political Calculations comes this gem of an article… The Calvalcade of Risk 102. Let me explain… Ironman hosted the carnival, but also embedded into it a useful calculator for determining whether or not an individual should drop health insurance as a result of the new health care law. The somewhat predictable result? If you’re younger and generally healthy, you could be better off dropping health insurance. Check it out yourself!
Nature is a fickle host. Between hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, tsunamis and other natural disasters, she throws plenty of challenges at mankind. I’ve written previously about the false belief that a public option in health care reform won’t quickly crowd out private companies from the insurance market. I present to you a cautionary tale from the other side of the fence… a Republican Governor (and possible Presidential candidate in 2012) who is playing pickle with nature.