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A weekly reality check on sensible investing and financial decision-making for Canadians. Hosted by Benjamin Felix and Cameron Passmore.

Aug 5, 2021

Today we are so happy to welcome the amazing Katy Milkman to the show. Katy is the author of the impressive and inspiring new book, How to Change: The Science of Getting from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be, and in this episode, we get the inside scoop from her about her work, with specific attention to how it can be applied to investment and finances. Emerging from an engineering background, Katy has a powerful and unique skillset to be tackling the social sciences, and we hear from her about how this path has impacted her thoughts on data quality and the areas she has chosen to research. Our guest shares some very interesting and sometimes surprising information on the idea of fresh starts, commitment devices, and ambitious goals, before we tackle the fascinating subjects of laziness and confidence in relation to our saving habits. Listeners can expect to come away with some renewed reasons for data-driven decisions as well as some new impetus to double down on healthy change. We cannot recommend Katy's book highly enough, so tune in to hear what she has to say and make sure to purchase this amazing read.


Key Points From This Episode:

  • Unpacking the idea of a 'fresh start' and the ideal times for this. [00:02:26.2]
  • Instances when fresh starts might be harmful instead of helpful. [00:07:28.1]
  • Better methods for adhering to goals around saving money. [00:12:04.6]
  • Commitment devices and how these can aid people in avoiding dipping into savings. [00:19:04.3]
  • The value of ambitious goals and the impacts of different kinds of goal setting. [00:22:13.7]
  • Using the power of a new identity in the process of goal setting around retirement savings. [00:26:00.8]
  • Katy's suggestions for taking responsibility for independent saving. [00:29:58.7]
  • Thoughts on laziness; utilizing this inherent tendency for our benefit. [00:31:43.6]
  • Katy's perspective on habit-forming; habit loops, consistency, and triggering certain behaviours through rewards. [00:35:40.6]
  • Decision-making and confidence; how much it matters and how to increase it. [00:42:11.4]
  • More productive conversations around advice, assistance, and expertise. [00:46:31.2]
  • The influence of community on our success; how determinant the people around us are. [00:49:38.6]
  • Considering the permanence or perpetual struggle of behavioural change. [00:52:20.6]
  • How accountability and the role of third parties can initiate meaningful change. [00:54:21.1]
  • Katy's concerns over data quality and how this has impacted the areas of her research. [00:55:24.9]
  • How Katy defines success in her life: leaving the world a better place and enjoyment. [00:56:49.8]