Welcome to the 70th edition of Your Weekly Aura, a newsletter featuring must-read money and mindfulness tips and tricks from Courtney & Kelsey. This week we’re talking about prim(e)al urges, cognitive biases, and how to stay safe this summer on Prime Day. If you like this newsletter, please share it with your friends and subscribe below.
Happy Prime Day, Fam!
On July 15, 2015, Amazon celebrated its 20th anniversary by doing what it does best – getting us to buy more sh*t.
It all started back in China in 2009 when Alibaba launched a 1-day shopping event called “Singles’ Day” or “Double 11.” The promotional event quickly grew to become the largest online shopping day in the world.
Not to be outdone, Mr. Bezos decided that we Americans deserved yet another summer holiday and he deserved not to be impacted by the seasonal summer slowdown in retail sales. So, in honor of Amazon’s 20th Birthday, Prime Day was born.
And while the Banks may still be open, Wall Street and Main Street observe this unofficial American holiday eagerly anticipating steep discounts and record-breaking sales.
But before you sacrifice your credit and cognitive reasoning skills, follow these steps to avoid a post-Prime Day shoppers’ remorse hangover.
Make a list of what you really need and prioritize it
At Aura, we divide your monthly expenses into wants, needs, and investment/savings goals. These three components make up the whole pie – all your monthly money moves. While we recommend a steady 50% on needs, 30% on wants, and 20% on savings and investing breakdown, this is just a guideline. Sometimes things fluctuate, sometimes it’s Prime Day, sometimes your needs, your wants, and even your investments take a bigger slice – that’s OK.
Prime Day can be an awesome time to stack up on the things you’ve been saving for like a new TV, but when you start impulse shopping for a third Ninja blender things can start to get dicey.
Ask yourself if you’re willing to borrow from tomorrow’s vacation fund to upgrade your kitchen knives today… that’s the thing about Pie, you buy it in one piece, no matter how you slice it – at the end of the day, it’s just one pie.
Avoid the “anchoring” trap
“Anchoring” is a cognitive bias that enables our brains to make comparisons. Price anchors are often used to encourage consumers to purchase products because they feel as if they are getting a good deal. But according to our very own, Dr. Simon Blanchard, sticker prices are not always what they seem.
Anchoring is when a person gives lots of weight to the first piece of information they receive. If a product listing says an item was $100 but is now discounted to $75, the “anchor” is $100.” But the “anchor” price doesn’t always reflect the market rate of a product.
In fact, the anchor price can often be misleading. Placing too much importance on the initial anchor price can prevent us from accurately assessing the true value of a product. To avoid falling into this trap, consider the market rate of the product and explore alternative options before making a purchase.
During Prime Day, take the time to check prices on other platforms and retailers to ensure that the discounted price is genuinely a good deal. By maintaining awareness of the anchoring bias, you can make more informed decisions and avoid being swayed solely by perceived discounts. Don’t let the anchor price cloud your judgment; instead, evaluate each offer based on its actual worth and your specific needs.
Try investing instead
Are you finding yourself overwhelmed and compelled to take advantage of the summer shopping spree mania? Consider replacing your challenging compulsive shopping habits with positive actions – instead of buying that new instant pot, consider investing. Why fill your cart when you can just diversify your investment portfolio? Aura users can do this by simply investing more into your personalized index fund.
Do Future You a solid this summer – skip the shiny distractions and invest in upgrading your lifestyle over the long-term, instead.
Download the Aura app and start investing with as little a $5!
*Android users request access here.
For Your Aura
Want to learn more about your money story and discover your Aura? Take our quiz to find out your money personality today.
The Star: 5 ways to score a really good deal on Prime Day (if you must).
The Empath: 4 ways anchoring bias can hurt you financially.
The Thinker: The complete history of Prime Day – the world’s largest shopping event.
The Activist: There’s no “green” way to do Prime Day.
Ask the Expert
How long will interest rates stay high?
Determining the exact duration of high interest rates is uncertain and depends on several factors, including economic indicators, inflation levels, and central bank policies. Historically, interest rates were kept low to stimulate the economy during the global financial crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, as the economy recovers and inflation becomes a concern, central banks may raise interest rates to control inflationary pressures. The Federal Reserve has been consistently raising interest rates for over a year, leading to higher yields on savings accounts. That’s why some high yield savings accounts are offering upwards of 4-5% annual percentage yield (APY) returns. This means that the banks are paying you close to 4-5% interest to you on your deposits.
While the duration of this high interest rate environment is influenced by economic conditions, it’s crucial to stay informed and regularly assess available options to make informed investment decisions. If you’re not taking advantage of a high yield savings account, you might be missing out.
↗️ Ukraine’s Alliances. NATO has agreed to extend a membership invitation to Ukraine once certain conditions are met; the G7 commits to Ukraine security guarantees, prompting a warning from Russia.
↗️ Inflation (technically, but just a little). Inflation rose just 0.2% in June, for the smallest 12-month increase since March 2021, giving consumers a break from price increases. But, the Fed isn’t ready to declare victory yet until they see consistent drops in inflation.
↘️ Barbie in Vietnam. The film was banned for allegedly showing a map that reflects China’s internationally rejected claims of it’s territorial power in the South China Sea.
↘️ Donald Trump’s immunity. Ex-President Donald Trump can be held liable for disparaging comments he made about a woman who accused him of rape. The DOJ said Mr. Trump was not acting within the scope of his duties when he publicly disparaged his accuser.
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This material has been distributed for informational and educational purposes only, represents an assessment of the market environment as of the date of publication, is subject to change without notice, and is not intended as investment, legal, accounting, or tax advice or opinion. Aura assumes no obligation to provide notifications of changes in any factors that could affect the information provided. This information should not be relied upon by the reader as research or investment advice regarding any issuer or security in particular. The strategies discussed are strictly for illustrative and educational purposes and should not be construed as a recommendation to purchase or sell, or an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any security. There is no guarantee that any strategies discussed will be effective. This information is not intended as a recommendation to invest in any particular asset class or strategy or as a promise of future performance. There is no guarantee that any investment strategy will work under all market conditions or is suitable for all investors. Before investing, please carefully consider your willingness to take on risk and your financial ability to afford investment losses when deciding how much individual security exposure to have in your investment portfolio. Past performance does not guarantee future results. There is a potential for loss as well as gain in investing. Aura does not represent in any manner that the circumstances described herein will result in any particular outcome.
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