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Richard Thaler Quotes

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Richard Thaler Quote: “A good rule of thumb is to assume that everything matters.”

A good rule of thumb is to assume that everything matters.

— Richard Thaler



Richard Thaler Quote: “My mantra is if you want to help people accomplish some goal, make it easy.”

My mantra is if you want to help people accomplish some goal, make it easy.

— Richard Thaler


Richard Thaler Quote: “So, what’s a nudge? A nudge is some small feature of the environment that attracts our attention and alters our behavior.”

So, what’s a nudge? A nudge is some small feature of the environment that attracts our attention and alters our behavior.

— Richard Thaler


Richard Thaler Quote: “The assumption that everybody will figure out how much they have to save and then will just implement that plan is obviously preposterous.”

The assumption that everybody will figure out how much they have to save and then will just implement that plan is obviously preposterous.

— Richard Thaler


Richard Thaler Quote: “When an economist says the evidence is “mixed,” he or she means that theory says one thing and data says the opposite.”

When an economist says the evidence is “mixed,” he or she means that theory says one thing and data says the opposite.

— Richard Thaler


Richard Thaler Quote: “There are cases when I can make myself better off by restricting my future choices and commit myself to a specific course of action.”

There are cases when I can make myself better off by restricting my future choices and commit myself to a specific course of action.

— Richard Thaler


Richard Thaler Quote: “The lesson from behavioral economics is that people only save if it’s automatic.”

The lesson from behavioral economics is that people only save if it’s automatic.

— Richard Thaler


Richard Thaler Quote: “Recall that people like to do what most people think it is right to do; recall too that people like to do what most people actually do.”

Recall that people like to do what most people think it is right to do; recall too that people like to do what most people actually do.

— Richard Thaler


Richard Thaler Quote: “Why tie to gold? Why not 1982 Bordeaux?”

Why tie to gold? Why not 1982 Bordeaux?

— Richard Thaler


Richard Thaler Quote: “I don’t go by the ratings. I buy wine that tastes good. Statistically, anybody’s ability to predict what will be a good wine a decade from now is limited.”

I don’t go by the ratings. I buy wine that tastes good. Statistically, anybody’s ability to predict what will be a good wine a decade from now is limited.

— Richard Thaler


Richard Thaler Quote: “I think the people who’ve been the most overconfident in our business in the last decade have been the people that called themselves risk managers.”

I think the people who’ve been the most overconfident in our business in the last decade have been the people that called themselves risk managers.

— Richard Thaler


Richard Thaler Quote: “I think one lesson we have to learn is that there’s a lot more risk than we’re giving credit to, a lot more what economist calls systematic risk.”

I think one lesson we have to learn is that there’s a lot more risk than we’re giving credit to, a lot more what economist calls systematic risk.

— Richard Thaler


Richard Thaler Quote: “The same with the mortgage brokers that were selling people mortgages they couldn’t afford. We shouldn’t pay them on each mortgage they write. They should have what they call “skin in the game,” where they’ve got to reimburse us if the guy who sold the mortgage defaults.”

The same with the mortgage brokers that were selling people mortgages they couldn’t afford. We shouldn’t pay them on each mortgage they write. They should have what they call “skin in the game,” where they’ve got to reimburse us if the guy who sold the mortgage defaults.

— Richard Thaler


Richard Thaler Quote: “People exaggerate their own skills. they are optimistic about their prospects and overconfident about their guesses, including which managers to pick.”

People exaggerate their own skills. they are optimistic about their prospects and overconfident about their guesses, including which managers to pick.

— Richard Thaler


Richard Thaler Quote: “I’m all for empowerment and education, but the empirical evidence is that it doesn’t work. That’s why I say make it easy.”

I’m all for empowerment and education, but the empirical evidence is that it doesn’t work. That’s why I say make it easy.

— Richard Thaler


Richard Thaler Quote: “Most people start claiming benefits within a year of when they become eligible, although benefits increase substantially if they wait.”

Most people start claiming benefits within a year of when they become eligible, although benefits increase substantially if they wait.

— Richard Thaler


Richard Thaler Quote: “Everyone’s lost a lot of money on their 401k plans. I’ve heard some people calling them 201k plans. So it’s even more important to get people to be saving more for retirement. Behavioral economics has helped us learn a lot about how to do that.”

Everyone’s lost a lot of money on their 401k plans. I’ve heard some people calling them 201k plans. So it’s even more important to get people to be saving more for retirement. Behavioral economics has helped us learn a lot about how to do that.

— Richard Thaler


Richard Thaler Quote: “When should we nudge and when should we shove, I think, it’s a political judgment. Obviously in some situations we need shoves, we need laws. Fraud is against the law, murder is against the law, drunk-driving is against the law. We don’t need just nudges.”

When should we nudge and when should we shove, I think, it’s a political judgment. Obviously in some situations we need shoves, we need laws. Fraud is against the law, murder is against the law, drunk-driving is against the law. We don’t need just nudges.

— Richard Thaler


Richard Thaler Quote: “I think we also have learned the lesson that we have to have better incentive structures.”

I think we also have learned the lesson that we have to have better incentive structures.

— Richard Thaler


Richard Thaler Quote: “Investors must keep in mind that there’s a difference between a good company and a good stock. After all, you can buy a good car but pay too much for it.”

Investors must keep in mind that there’s a difference between a good company and a good stock. After all, you can buy a good car but pay too much for it.

— Richard Thaler


Richard Thaler Quote: “So the world is much more correlated than we give credit to. And so we see more of what Nassim Taleb calls “black swan events” – rare events happen more often than they should because the world is more correlated.”

So the world is much more correlated than we give credit to. And so we see more of what Nassim Taleb calls “black swan events” – rare events happen more often than they should because the world is more correlated.

— Richard Thaler


Richard Thaler Quote: “Credit cards have been extremely profitable to banks. They’re profitable not from the fees they collect from the retailers that use the credit cards, that pays the bills, but the real profits come from the interest payments and the charges to users that are unexpected.”

Credit cards have been extremely profitable to banks. They’re profitable not from the fees they collect from the retailers that use the credit cards, that pays the bills, but the real profits come from the interest payments and the charges to users that are unexpected.

— Richard Thaler


Richard Thaler Quote: “A company invites their employees to sign up for a plan where every time they get a raise, some part of that raise goes to increasing their contribution rate to the 401k plan. In the first company we convinced to adopt this plan, saving rates tripled.”

A company invites their employees to sign up for a plan where every time they get a raise, some part of that raise goes to increasing their contribution rate to the 401k plan. In the first company we convinced to adopt this plan, saving rates tripled.

— Richard Thaler


Richard Thaler Quote: “Most economists, including me, agree that longevity insurance would make sense for a lot of people.”

Most economists, including me, agree that longevity insurance would make sense for a lot of people.

— Richard Thaler


Richard Thaler Quote: “There’s a second component of a good savings plan, which is something that a colleague of mine called Schlomo Benartzi and I developed many years ago, that we call “save more tomorrow.””

There’s a second component of a good savings plan, which is something that a colleague of mine called Schlomo Benartzi and I developed many years ago, that we call “save more tomorrow.”

— Richard Thaler


Richard Thaler Quote: “If people just put away what’s left at the end of the month, that’s a recipe for failure.”

If people just put away what’s left at the end of the month, that’s a recipe for failure.

— Richard Thaler


Richard Thaler Quote: “If rather than setting the minimum balance as the lowest possible amount, so we keep people in debt for as long as possible, we raise the minimum payment and encourage people to pay off their credit cards, we’re going to make less money, but we’re going to have costumers that are more solvent.”

If rather than setting the minimum balance as the lowest possible amount, so we keep people in debt for as long as possible, we raise the minimum payment and encourage people to pay off their credit cards, we’re going to make less money, but we’re going to have costumers that are more solvent.

— Richard Thaler


Richard Thaler Quote: “It would be much more consumer friendly for them to beep you when you swipe your card that says, uh-oh you’re over your limit, are you sure you want to use that?”

It would be much more consumer friendly for them to beep you when you swipe your card that says, uh-oh you’re over your limit, are you sure you want to use that?

— Richard Thaler


Richard Thaler Quote: “It turns out, that men, when they’re taking care of their business, they’re not fully attending to the task at hand, but, I’m sure there’s an evolutionary explanation for this, if you give them a target, they will aim.”

It turns out, that men, when they’re taking care of their business, they’re not fully attending to the task at hand, but, I’m sure there’s an evolutionary explanation for this, if you give them a target, they will aim.

— Richard Thaler


Richard Thaler Quote: “One simple step firms can take is make sure that people that are getting paid a lot of money, say more than a million or two, that a big chunk of that money is deferred. That’s going to change the whole ballgame.”

One simple step firms can take is make sure that people that are getting paid a lot of money, say more than a million or two, that a big chunk of that money is deferred. That’s going to change the whole ballgame.

— Richard Thaler


Richard Thaler Quote: “Is there a market for somebody selling a credit card that helps people pay down their balances? I think the question is yes. But it would have to be sold by a bank that’s really willing to invest in being a trusted partner with its consumers, because they will make less money on each consumer.”

Is there a market for somebody selling a credit card that helps people pay down their balances? I think the question is yes. But it would have to be sold by a bank that’s really willing to invest in being a trusted partner with its consumers, because they will make less money on each consumer.

— Richard Thaler


Richard Thaler Quote: “Every American worker should be able to save for retirement via payroll deductions.”

Every American worker should be able to save for retirement via payroll deductions.

— Richard Thaler


Richard Thaler Quote: “The reason is they failed to learned the primary lesson we should have learned from when Long Term Capital Management went belly up ten years ago. That is, investments that seem uncorrelated can be correlated simply because we’re interested in it.”

The reason is they failed to learned the primary lesson we should have learned from when Long Term Capital Management went belly up ten years ago. That is, investments that seem uncorrelated can be correlated simply because we’re interested in it.

— Richard Thaler

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