BIL 2015

March 21-22nd at Imperial Vancouver. Doors open at 8am. Opening remarks begin at 9:30AM.

Anica John


I’ve founded two companies and run another one. My latest interest is in the factors that influence our decision making at key points in our lives. Specifically, I am focusing on how we plan our economic futures, and to what extent we include the consideration of long term happiness.

Talk Title: Making Money Decisions with Happiness in Mind

When was the last time planning out your finances made you happy? For most people, it’s a miserable experience, and some of us never get around to it – with terrible results. Almost half of all Americans have credit card debt, and the average household debt is over $7,000.00. Less than 50% of Americans have three months of living expenses saved up. Among the top reasons listed for this are anxiety and fear of the process – but why?

The answer is that we apply one financial planning formula to every personality type and risk profile. If you are a startup founder, wouldn’t you be more like to accept a modest retirement for the chance to pursue your dreams for a few years unfettered by a full-time job? An insurance analyst might only sleep through the night by purchasing twice the amount of disability insurance that the average personal finance book recommends. Conventional wisdom expects these two very different personalities to act with the same spending and saving behavior, and both people end up miserable. Now let’s say they are married! How can we fix this?

My talk explores the application of decision-making to personal economics. What’s the end result? A world where the average consumer has the tools to make a sustainable plan that is tailored to his or her personality and risk profile. A sustainable plan eventually leads to a successful consumer with greater spending power.