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Lust — resist the siren call of short-term opportunity

By Mike Turner, Investment Solutions, Aberdeen Asset Management

This article expands upon the first of Mike Turner’s Seven Deadly Sins, which was first published in booklet form in January 2014.

In the late 1960s, a psychologist named Walter Mischel conducted a series of groundbreaking experiments. The premise was simple: he took a series of pre-school children individually into a room where there was a marshmallow. Each child was faced with a dilemma: have one marshmallow now or wait a few minutes and have two. This rather innocuous test of self-control proved very accurate in measuring children’s success in later life. Those who waited longer performed better academically, earned more money and were healthier and happier than those who succumbed quickly. Crucially, Mischel found that both adults and children could be trained to improve their level of self-control and make better decisions in their long-term interests.

You will likely be all too familiar with the struggle of delaying gratification. How many of us have broken new year’s resolutions of healthy eating and exercise after only a few weeks? Putting off important tasks such as revising for an exam is so easy when you can do something more fun. Equally, however, we appreciate that patience and discipline are very often the keys to success.

How does this relate to investing?



Cameron backs away from 45p tax rate cut

Prime Minister David Cameron has distanced himself from calls to ditch the 45p income tax rate for higher earners, saying it is “not our priority”, The Times reports. Speaking at an event held by the newspaper yesterday, Cameron said his primary aim was to increase the thresholds beyond which people pay basic and higher rate […]


IMF attacks EU over Greek bailout

The International Monetary Fund has criticised the bailout deal offered to Greece by the Eurozone. A memo sent to EU authorities at the weekend and obtained by the FT urges debt relief for Greece on a scale “well beyond what has been under consideration to date”. The Greek parliament is due to vote today on […]


Employment falls for first time since 2013

The number of people in work has inched downwards over the last three months for the first time since April 2013. Figures from the Office for National Statistics show the total dropped to 30.98 million for the three months to May 2015, a reduction of 67,000 on the previous three months, equivalent to a 0.2 per […]


UnderwriteMe launches with pilot distributors

Quote comparison software provider UnderwriteMe has launched with two pilot distributors. UnderwriteMe will go live in August with LifeSearch and direct to consumer online broker Cavendish Online. The software aims to simplify the protection sales process by providing fully underwritten prices at the point of sale. It is being used by six providers: Scottish Friendly, […]


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