Discover more from Economics Matters by Laurence Kotlikoff
Announcing: The Financial Riddler!
Financial Knowledge Is Financial Empowerment
We all love puzzles — jigsaw puzzles, spelling bees, Wordle, the Cube, Balancing Kiwis, Sudoku, Scrabble, Battleships, Trivial Pursuit, and more. What’s missing is squaring off against financial riddles— riddles that improve your financial knowledge, make you money, lower your risk, and improve your life. But also leave you screaming:
Really? Come on! That can’t be true. You’re kidding! I’m that far off? OMG! No way!
Welcome to The Financial Riddler — a tri-weekly, if not daily, set of challenging and, often, mind-blowing questions about the global economy, our national economy, and your personal economy. We'll be periodically emailing about new riddlers or including them with other articles, and if you’re itching for more you can check larrykotlikoff.substack.com for bonus riddlers.
Whether you win or lose the game, the answers will influence your financial thinking. They will also alter your view of the world. But be careful. Many of the riddles and answers will train you to think like an economist. You may even start sounding like a dismal scientist. If this happens, take a couple days off.
The Riddler will occasionally wander into areas that seem off-target. Demographics is one example. Politics is another. But everything will relate, either directly or indirectly, to financial and economic matters. My mission is to educate, entertain, connect dots, and help.
Speaking of the software, a key goal of the Financial Riddler is persuading you that most of your critical financial decisions — deciding on college, choosing a major, handling student loans, figuring out how much to save, picking a career, choosing among jobs, selecting a place to live and work, and settling on when to retire —require the use of advanced economics-based financial planning software. No one, not an Isaac Newton, an Albert Einstein, not a Stephen Hawkins, and certainly not your financial advisor or your rich uncle — can make optimal financial decisions, including investment decisions, without the right software. Doing so is just as easy as thinking 50 moves ahead in chess. It’s not, repeat after me, in the feasible set.
Anyway, here’s the link to The Financial Riddler, which includes links to the answers. All the Riddlers are listed on one screen. Same with all the answers.
Have fun and do comment on questions you’d like me to pose.