Book Review

Reviewed by Jurgen Vandenbroucke

Self-control is always easy... in the future

Or how to get the customer to invest NOW?

Improve the conversion of your sales processes AND expand your reach by marrying technology with applied academic content. One and one make more than two! Make it happen with everyoneINVESTED.

In a nutshell

Did you succeed today in keeping the promises you made yourself yesterday? For many people, the answer is no. Self-control comes in limited supply. We all procrastinate! And so does your customer.

This book explores how to convince customers to invest NOW rather than TOMORROW, by adding some behavioral science into your algorithms.

What’s going on here?

Behavioral economics provides assistance in this respect. For example by having a solution in place before the problem even arises. A famous example is Save More Tomorrow: contracts of new employees include the default that future wage increases will contribute to the employee’s pension plan rather than her savings account. Such default clearly contributes to the pension savings rate and channels the self-control of spending.

Other examples of this kind are often referred to as nudgesNudges are pieces of information or ways of presenting information for people to make better decisions, even when judged by themselves. The addition “even when judged by themselves” is important. For example to distinguish nudging from plain manipulation. Nudges in many cases are pre-defined rules of how you will act, leaving less room for short-sighted thinking at the moment of truth.

The book Algorithms to Live by covers a related topic, but looked at it from the other side. The question addressed is: what can we learn from computer science to improve our daily life and decision making? As it turns out: a lot, with some points of attention. The most important I think is the following:

Digitization is a means, not a goal in itself.

Why you should care

Using the capabilities of current technology to its fullest enables your business to reach a much broader audience than ever before.

What does this mean?

The long tail clients can be introduced to investing without leaving their comfy couch. They merely have to click yes when receiving a prospective teasing message. That’s great. But the algorithms that generate the decisions or proposals will determine even more the success of digitization. The algorithms should not be “cold” and “artificial” in the negative sense of the word. The algorithms should embed logic that mimics actual decision making. The algorithms should generate proposals people can relate to.

How everyoneINVESTED can help your business

At everyoneINVESTED, we developed a suite of solutions that address the emotional component of investing in each part of the digital wealth management process. The relevance for your business is obvious: people do not stick to a portfolio if it defies who they are.

Eternal investors, that’s our common goal.

Algorithms to Live By


Tom Griffiths