Waiting to Save – Behavioral Economics at Work

This is an amazing TED talk on the power of default choices, decisions for today vs tomorrow and loss aversion. It’s also about how we can use the power of these effects to radically alter people’s financial outcomes.

The main example if of a 401k program that is not only set up as opt-out but is also set up for people to save more as they make more. The result was that savings rates skyrocketed as a result. Interestingly the example is a 401k program with many blue collar workers who were struggling to save.

This is something we’re thinking a lot about at Blueleaf. In fact we’re working on a number of products that leverage these effects in a number of powerful ways.

How have you used behavioral economics to help clients? What innovative things have you seen that you’re excited about? Let us know in the comments.

John Prendergast John Prendergast is the co-founder and CEO of Blueleaf. He serves on the board of WiredTiger, a developer cloud optimized databases. He is also the founder and organizer of the Lean Startup Circle Boston. In addition to his decade and a half as an entrepreneur, John spent nearly a decade as an investment banker and financial advisor.