Frank Vogel on change in his teaching model

Los Angeles Lakers Head coach Frank Vogel remains unimpressed by rumors that claim that his future on the team has become uncertain.

the Lakers“An overwhelming run in form has many people speculated that Frank Vogel will likely be sacked as the team’s coach.

After the Lakers’ impressive 117-92 win over the Sacramento Kings On Tuesday Vogel revealed that he had to “light a fire under his team”, which suggests that he will now appear more impressive as a coach.

“The coach has to start a fire under his team every now and then,” said Vogel via The athlete. “And today [against the Kings] was one of those games. “

Vogel was referring to the fiery speech he gave to the Lakers at halftime against Sacramento. Dwight Howard went on to reveal what the coach said: “His only point was, ‘stop talking about winning a championship and not making the right effort'”.

if current reports To be true, there have been widespread rumors that the Lakers are now considering making certain changes to the team. And while player swaps and takeovers are certainly the top two resolutions, it is believed the Lakers are keen to reassess their coaching staff. Put simply, the pressure on Vogel is growing.

As things stand, Vogel’s half-time speech against the kings seems to have worked so far. The Lakers have now improved their record to 12-11, registering a win percentage of 0.522. You are now sitting on seventh place in the ranking of the Western Conference.

Amadou Haidara: The participant Rangnick desires to vary Manchester United’s fashion

nThis one Manchester United Interim manager – and future senior football advisor – Ralf Rangnick wasted little time starting its revolution at Old Trafford and has identified some top targets for the January transfer window, including RB Leipzig midfield player Amadou Haidara.

Rangnick He himself signed the Mali national player for the German club in 2019, so he knows what it’s about and believes that he could be the key to change Red Devil‘Playing style and shapes the page according to his own image.

Haidarawho has made 100 appearances for Leipzig has been a dynamic midfielder since January 2019 who would help Rangnick impose his persistent style Manchester United Team.

He’s a tireless worker in the middle of the park, often in a defensive or box-to-box role, although he can create opportunities and also intervene with a goal or two, as he did against last season Manchester United in the Champions League.

An affordable option

To the Manchester United, Haidara is said to be a relatively cheap option with an exit clause of around 40 million euros. Leipzig will want to see this completely met but nonetheless it makes it a cheaper option that West Ham star Declan rice.

The 23-year-old is also known for wanting to switch Manchester Unitedafter speaking in the past that the English club was a dream destination. the Rangnick Connection is another incentive as he knows his former boss is well aware of his capabilities.

Haidara joined Leipzig from other Red Bull teams Salzburg, who hired him as a teenager, and the German club closely followed his progress in Austria prior to their move. As part of SalzburgAs a U19 man, he won the 2017 UEFA Youth League and in 2018 was on the 10-man shortlist for the Kopa trophy, which honors the best U21 player in Europe.

Who would he replace for Manchester United?

The Malian is a combative player with a strong work ethic, ideal for Rangnick‘s urgent game. His work off the ball is priceless, but on the ball he thrives and although he is often viewed as a defensive player, he likes to take the ball forward and has said his idol is Steven Gerrard.

It’s not so much about who Haidara replaced to make the team stronger. He can play anywhere in central midfield, including as a seated player, but maybe best as a box-to-box player, and he will add to a midfield full of more competition Paul Pogba, Donny van de Beek, Scott McTominay, Fred and Bruno Fernandes.

if Rangnick made it Haidara Priority number one, there is a good reason and why United could get him in January, it could accelerate the transformation the German coach has in mind for the team.

People are shopping for Teslas, not EVs. Here is why that is about to vary

Americans don’t buy electric vehicles, they buy Teslas.

That has been a fairly accurate statement for US consumers over the past few years, with Tesla This accounts for the majority of electric vehicles sold, according to IHS Markit, including 79% in 2020. But that is starting to change as the so-called traditional Car manufacturers and start-ups are investing billions in a number of new electric vehicles to compete against Tesla.

The influx of electric vehicles – from a few dozen today to estimates of hundreds of new models by 2025 – is expected to detract from Tesla’s market share in the years to come. The new electric vehicles are planned as larger automakers, such as General Motors and Volkswagen, Transition to building almost entirely electric vehicles in the next decade or so.

The logo marks the showroom and service center of the US automobile and energy company Tesla in Amsterdam on October 23, 2019.

John Thys | AFP | Getty Images

“It’s no surprise that Tesla still dominates electric vehicle sales because they are the only ones with truly viable products in full swing,” said Michael Fiske, IHS Markit deputy director. “In a growth market, it is extremely difficult to maintain the majority market share, regardless of the industry. … As we move towards a larger and really significant number of manufacturers to play in this space, Tesla has to lose market share. “

Tesla’s market share of all-electric vehicles is expected to drop to 56% in 2021 as early as this year as new vehicles such as the Ford Mustang Mach-E and Volkswagen ID.4 are introduced, IHS Markit said.

Read more about electric vehicles

The research and forecasting firm expects Tesla’s US market share of all-electric vehicles to be 20% in 2025.

2021 vs. 2030

Tesla’s current dominance affects a relatively insignificant market. Despite the attention and hype surrounding electric vehicles, sales of all-electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles – which include both electric motors and an internal combustion engine – remain tiny. Electric vehicle sales, including plug-in hybrids, are expected to account for less than 4% of US sales this year, according to industry forecasts. According to LMC, fully electric models – such as Teslas – only account for 2.6% of the market or around 394,000 vehicles.

“Going on, it doesn’t take long to get into pretty big volume and share the growth,” said Jeff Schuster, LMC president for America. “This is a massive linchpin for the auto industry.”

LMC expects electric vehicles to account for 34.2% of new car sales in the U.S. by 2030, with all-electric 30.1% and plug-in hybrids accounting for 4.1%. Some of AutoForecast Solutions’ most pessimistic estimates predict that electric vehicles will account for about 23% of the market by 2030, with all-electric cars and trucks accounting for 18.6% of US sales. IHS Markit predicts that electric vehicles will make up about 40% of the US industry by 2030.

Biden’s goal “very optimistic”

While analysts and forecasters differ on how many electric vehicles will be sold this decade, they agree that the rollout will be quick, but likely not President Joe Biden’s order for half of the new vehicles sold be electric vehicles in the country.

“It is very optimistic to reach 50% by then,” said Tony Salerno, managing director for automotive analytics and advisory at JD Power, citing challenges such as consumer education, charging infrastructure and support from the US power grid. “I think it will get there at some point from a utility standpoint, but it’s early days and there are many pieces of the puzzle that we need to figure out to get there.”

When Biden announced the deal earlier this year, dubbed more of a “friendly target,” automakers weren’t fully on board. Many, including the Detroit automakers, said they aim to “achieve 40-50 percent of the annual US volume of electric vehicles” by 2030.

“It’s not going to happen. Mainly because it’s an unexplored market. Nobody really knows how much there is,” said Sam Fiorani, vice president of global forecasting for AutoForecast Solutions. “Nobody really knows how deep the market is right now. If you take Tesla out of the picture, the market is less than 1% of all electric vehicles.”

Biden unveils plan to handle local weather change dangers to financial system

United States President Joe Biden delivers September vacancy remarks in the South Court Auditorium in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, DC on October 8, 2021.

Chip Somodevilla | Getty Images

The Biden government on Friday unveiled a government-wide plan to address the systemic threat climate change poses to all economic sectors.

The roadmap is part of the longer term agenda of the White House to cut domestic greenhouse gas emissions by almost half by 2030 and transition to a net zero emissions economy by mid-century while mitigating the effects of climate change on the economy.

Increasing climate-related disasters such as heat waves, droughts, floods and forest fires threaten the stability of the global financial system.

Extreme weather events this year Affected 1 in 3 Americans, according to federal disaster statements and interrupted supply chains across the country. Extreme weather for the past five years cost Americans According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, more than $ 600 billion in damage.

The government’s plan takes into account how climate change is affecting the businesses people invest in and aims to protect the savings and pensions of American families with retirement plans. Climate-related risks in retirement plans have cost US retirees billions in lost retirement funds, according to a White House leaflet.

The Department of Labor “is making efforts to remove regulatory barriers and ensure that benefit plan trustees can incorporate material climate-related risks into their investment decisions,” the report said. “These efforts will better protect the savings of American workers and their families from the effects of climate change and could also mobilize capital for sustainable investment.”

The roadmap also shows how authorities can strengthen infrastructure resilience in response to worsening climate disasters. It shows how authorities can use federal procurement to address climate-related financial risks and incorporate climate-related risks into federal lending and budget planning.

This month, more than 20 federal agencies did published climate adaptation plans Identify the greatest threats climate change poses to your businesses and facilities and how you intend to deal with them.

“Climate change poses a risk to our economy as well as to the lives and livelihoods of Americans, and we must act now,” said national climate advisor Gina McCarthy on Thursday during a press briefing. “This roadmap isn’t just about protecting our financial system – it’s about protecting people, their paychecks and their wealth.”

“We have a clear focus on how climate change poses a systemic risk to our economy,” said Deputy Director of the National Economic Council, Bharat Ramamurti, at the press conference. “We take a precautionary approach that recognizes that inaction is not an option.”

The report is entitled “A Roadmap to Build a Climate-Resilient Economy”.

President Joe Biden has also called on the Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, the head of the Board of Directors for Financial Stability and financial regulators to report on financial climate risk data. This report has not yet been published.

The President and the First Lady are traveling to Europe in two weeks, with the global climate crisis in the foreground of Biden’s agenda. Biden will also be traveling to Glasgow, Scotland, to attend the Parties’ UN Climate Change Conference, or COP26, in early November.

Protection Division warns local weather change will enhance conflicts

Troops from three California National Guard companies search a fire-ravaged neighborhood in Santa Rosa, California on October 14, 2017.

David McNew | Getty Images

Climate change poses a serious threat to US military operations and will create new sources of global political conflict, the Department of Defense wrote in its new Climate adaptation plan in this week.

Water scarcity could become a major source of friction or conflict between the US military overseas and the countries where troops are stationed, the department warned. She also expects that political efforts to curb food and water scarcity will lead to more frequent physical and cyber terrorist attacks by unknown third parties.

Extreme weather events aggravated by climate change, including droughts, storms and floods, have already cost the ministry billions of dollars, according to plan. An increase in extreme weather events will increase the demand for US troops while damaging military bases, compromising operational capabilities, and endangering soldiers.

Countries that endure conflict are disproportionately exposed to climate change. More than a dozen nations threatened by global warming are also embroiled in conflict. according to an index from the Notre Dame Global Adaptation Initiative. The combination exacerbates food and economic insecurity and weakens the ability of governments to provide assistance, the International Committee of the Red Cross said in a recent report.

“Climate change is an existential threat to our nation’s security and the Department of Defense must act quickly and boldly to meet this challenge and prepare for harm that cannot be avoided,” said Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin. said in a statement.

“Our armed forces struggle every day with the severe and growing consequences of climate change, from hurricanes and forest fires that cause costly damage to US facilities and limit our ability to train and operate, to dangerous heat, drought and floods that can and do trigger crises Instability all over the world, “he said.

Troops, military facilities in danger

The Department of Defense was among the 20 federal agencies that Climate adaptation plans presented this week, exposing the greatest global warming threats to their operations and facilities and making suggestions on how to deal with them.

Shortly after taking office, President Joe Biden gave the authorities four months to develop plans as part of a nationwide approach to tackling climate change. The main themes in all plans include protecting workers from extreme heat events and strengthening supply chains against extreme weather conditions.

Climate change has made troop safety an important issue. Have at least 17 troops died of exposure to heat while exercising at U.S. military bases since 2008says the Pentagon.

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin testifies to the House Armed Services Committee on the completion of military operations in Afghanistan at the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, September 29, 2021.

Olivier Douliery | Swimming pool | Reuters

Training troops to operate in increasingly extreme weather conditions could also give the US a distinct advantage over its enemies, as “forces can operate in conditions where others seek protection or go down,” according to the plan.

The department said it has committed to using climate information to educate military planners about where and how military assets are at risk. It was recently released as a Climate assessment tool creates hazard indicators based on data from past extreme weather events and the effects of future sea level changes, floods, droughts, heat, soil degradation, energy demands and forest fires.

“We must take on these challenges as a team – from every corner of the Pentagon, on every one of our installations and bases, across the federal government, and together with our partners and allies,” said Austin.

5 Altcoins That Might Change the Means We Use Cash

If you venture further into the world of cryptocurrencies, at some point you will need to consider the concept of money. Once upon a time, we traded with each other and exchanged one product for another. Maybe you will give me fish for potatoes. I could then trade some of those fish for seeds and so on.

As societies developed, so did our money. We started using things like cowrie shells or gold as a medium of exchange for goods and services. From there we eventually got fiat money – like the dollars or euros we use today. These are not inherently valuable: a dollar is worth a dollar because we give it that value.

Now we have Cryptocurrencies. You can think of crypto as being like digital cowrie shells: tokens that you can exchange for goods and services.

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How Bitcoin can change our currency system

Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency and promised to revolutionize the way we use money. It is not backed by any central bank or government. And it allows us to make digital payments or transfers without involving a third party such as a bank. Money can be moved faster and with lower transaction fees.

Over 11,000 alternatives to Bitcoin (known as “Altcoins”) followed, and a new one decentralized finance industry (DeFi) has blossomed. DeFi cuts the middleman out of traditional financial services. For example, crypto holders can take out a loan without going through a traditional lender, earn interest without opening a bank account, and purchase insurance without hiring a broker.

Here are five altcoins that push the boundaries of the way we use money.

1. Aave (AAVE)

Decentralized lenders like Aave have taken traditional lenders out of the lending process. Borrowers don’t have to pass a credit check or fill out any papers. Instead, they ditch crypto collateral and leave one smart contract (a piece of self-executing code that lives on the blockchain).

Crypto holders can earn interest on their assets by adding them to the loan pool. The tariffs they can earn are higher than traditional ones Savings accountsas are the risks.

2nd connection (COMP)

Compound is another top DeFi lender that works in a similar way. Compound has fewer total assets on its platform than Aave, according to DeFi Pulse, which tracks the performance of various DeFi platforms. (At the time of writing, Aave topped the list at $ 16.12 billion while Compound was at $ 10.35 billion.)

3. Ripple (XRP)

Ripple is an international digital payment network that aims to replace SWIFT (the standardized money transfer system currently preferred by banks). if Dogecoin (DOGE) is the people’s crypto, Ripple is the bank’s crypto.

Ripple makes it easy to transfer any currency, whether it’s dollars, Swiss francs or Aave tokens. Unfortunately, it ended up in hot water with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which enforces securities laws and protects investors. It argues that XRP is more of a security than a cryptocurrency. (Most cryptocurrencies are categorized as commodities, so they don’t have to follow the same rules as securities.)

4. Stellar Lumens (XLM)

Stellar was developed by Jed McCaleb, one of the co-founders of Ripple. Like Ripple, it aims to enable inexpensive money transfers. However, Stellar is aimed more at people than at institutions. This could be particularly effective in developing countries, where many people do not have access to traditional banking services.

5. Nexus Mutual (NXM)

Unfortunately, the cryptocurrency is gaining popularity. Crypto scam, Hacks and thefts are also increasing. Cryptocurrencies don’t have the same protection that you would get from a traditional bank or stockbroker. As a result, crypto insurance is becoming increasingly important.

And not surprisingly, there is a growing pool of decentralized insurers. As a matter of fact, insurance Brokers as we know them could be a thing of the past. Those smart contracts that we mentioned earlier? They don’t always work as planned. Nexus Mutual covers failure of smart contracts and exchange hacks.

The nonprofit aims to bring back a collaborative approach to insurance and reduce administrative inefficiencies. In contrast to traditional insurance brokers, NXM token holders jointly evaluate claims, which are then paid out from a central pool. Unfortunately, the token is not available from major US cryptocurrency exchanges.

Changing the way we use money

Whether banking, money transfers, loans or insurance, these and other cryptocurrencies could change the financial landscape. But like all cryptocurrencies, they are volatile and high-risk investments.

We don’t yet know how this space will develop and there are many moving parts. Authorities worldwide are considering how DeFi should be regulated to ensure consumer protection. Governments can introduce their own centralized digital currencies. And the technology itself is rapidly evolving, so these coins may be replaced with newer ones.

Even so, DeFi is an exciting area with huge potential, so it’s worth putting these coins on your watchlist.

Tesla Inventory Is Useless Cash. AI Day Will not Change That.

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A Tesla logo can be seen on a Tesla Model 3 car

Nicolas Asfouri / AFP via Getty Images

Tesla is eagerly awaited Artificial Intelligence Day might not be enough to tear the stock off the recent one Trade range. For this to happen, bullish investors may have to wait until early 2022.


Tesla

(Ticker: TSLA) The stock fell about 1.6% in pre-trading on Thursday, which appears to be another difficult day for the market.

S&P 500

and

Dow Jones industry average

Futures are down 0.8% and 0.9% respectively. The S&P lost 1.1% on Wednesday.

Including the pre-IPO moves, Tesla stock is down about 4% year-to-date and 14% in the past six months. For every positive thing for the stock – better than expected, for example Merits and strong shipments – there seems to be a competing negative. Some of the negative aspects can be blamed on the company while others are beyond its control.

Rising interest rates, which hurt highly-valued growth stocks more than others, dragged Tesla stock down 15% in February. The company has no control over prices. And the global automobile Semiconductor shortage tracked all car companies year-round, making car deliveries difficult, despite the 2020 Covid-induced recession demand has been higher than expected.

Tesla is also haunted by safety concerns about its autonomous driving capabilities. NHTSA opens an investigation in 11 accidents with Tesla driver assistance functions. And Senators Richard Blumenthal from Connecticut and Ed Markey from Massachusetts sent a letter to the FTC asking the agency to look into Tesla’s marketing of its autonomous driving capabilities. Those two things could suppress a positive stock reaction to Tesla’s Artificial Intelligence Day, which is slated to begin Thursday evening.

Big Tesla events don’t always result in a positive stock bang. To get started, Tesla hosted a Autonomy Day in April 2019 that detailed advances in its self-driving technology. The stock lost about 3% over the next six months while the S&P 500 rose about 3%.

Tesla shares also fell by hers in the two days Battery technology event in September 2020. Still, the stock rebounded roughly 85% from the post-battery day decline to year-end. That’s a big step, but so was Tesla added to the S&P 500 between the battery event and the end of 2020.

A catalyst like the inclusion in the S&P 500 is not in sight in 2021.

Bullish investors may have to wait for new capacity to come online in Texas and Berlin, Germany for the stock to climb back up. More capacity would give investors confidence that the company can ship around 1.3 million units in 2022, an increase of about 50% from the 860,000 expected deliveries in 2021.

New productions, which would be reflected in quarterly statistics, would also give investors confidence that Tesla has the battery and microchip supplies it needs to meet its lofty growth targets.

The plant in Texas will manufacture the Model Y and the Cybertruck. The Berlin plant will manufacture cars for the European market. The Berlin plant would relieve Tesla’s plant in Shanghai in order to concentrate more on the Chinese home market. Both plants are scheduled to go online towards the end of 2021. CEO Elon Musk recently said that Tesla’s German plant could soon be ready to build cars than October.

After the capacity limit, Tesla investors will want another catalyst. That’s likely a car that is smaller in size and lower in price than a Model 3. The timing and details of the next product are unknown, but the bulls expect something to be shared in 2022.

Write to allen.root@dowjones.com

Houston may obtain federal cash to struggle local weather change disasters

President Joe Biden recently announced that Texas would be preserved $ 666 million for preventive measures to combat the effects of climate change, which include the increasing frequency and severity of hurricanes that have devastated the Gulf Coast in recent years, according to Christopher Flavelle of the New York Times.

The Hurricane Harvey floods were among the worst Houston had ever seen.

Brett Coomer, contributor / Houston Chronicle

The money comes from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Disaster Fund, which typically spends 15 percent on “hazard mitigation” grants. That usually equates to about $ 1 billion in total, but with an increased FEMA budget due to COVID-19, the figure will be $ 3.5 billion in 2021.

Texas’ expected $ 666 million share of the $ 3.5 billion pie is the largest of any state. But that doesn’t guarantee Houston or Harris County will get the money, and it’s unclear who will make decisions about how it will be distributed in the state.

Will be great when Harris County only ends up 0.1% of that or something. https://t.co/dhxubXB7KP

– Matt Lanza (@mattlanza) August 6, 2021

In May, both the city and the county were denied more than $ 2 billion in funds channeled to Texas by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

That was after Governor Greg Abbott ordered the Texas General Land Office, under the direction of governor hopeful George P. Bush, to distribute the money. (Spoiler alert: they did.)

George P. Bush heads the Texas General Land Office, which declined funding to Houston and Harris Counties for flood projects earlier this year.

Thao Nguyen, contributor

Bush later promised to secure $ 750 million from the HUD for Houston and Harris Counties, but it appears to be just his word. He had not asked about the additional funds as of May, according to Zach Despart of the Houston Chronicle.

It is unlikely that Abbott, who is seeking re-election, would allow a political opponent to redeem his word. So you shouldn’t expect the GLO to distribute the $ 666 million in FEMA dollars this round.

If Houston is lucky, we will at least get some federal government funding for much-needed flood projects. But don’t hold your breath.

Gamification: can video video games change our cash habits?

  • Gamification is the process of incorporating elements of video games into a business, organization, or system, with the goal of boosting engagement or performance.
  • Gamified personal finance apps aim to help people make better financial decisions, often by redirecting destructive financial behaviors (like playing the lottery) toward positive outcomes.
  • Still, gamification has its risks, and scientists are still working to understand how gamification affects our financial behavior.


– YouTube

www.youtube.com

The human brain is a pretty lazy organ. Although it’s capable of remarkable ingenuity, it’s also responsible for nudging us into bad behavioral patterns, such as being impulsive or avoiding difficult but important decisions. These kinds of short-sighted behaviors can hurt our finances.

However, they don’t hurt the video game industry. In 2020, video games generated more than $179 billion in revenue, making the industry more valuable than sports and movies combined. A 2021 report from Limelight Network found that gamers worldwide spend an average of 8 hours and 27 minutes per week playing video games.

Good at gaming, bad at saving

It’s not necessarily bad that Americans spend millions of dollars and hours on video games. But consider another set of statistics: 25 percent of Americans have no retirement savings at all, while roughly half are either living “on the edge” or “paycheck to paycheck,” according to a recent report on the Financial Resilience of Americans from the FINRA Education Foundation. Meanwhile, experts predict that Social Security funds could dry up by 2035.

So, why don’t people save more? After all, the benefits of compounding interest aren’t exactly a secret: Investing a few hundred bucks every month would make most people millionaires by retirement if they start in their twenties. However, the recent FINRA report found that many Americans have alarmingly low levels of financial literacy, a topic that’s not taught in most public schools.

Even for the financially literate, saving money is psychologically difficult

But what if we could infuse the instant gratification of video games into our long-term financial habits? In other words, what if finance looked less like an Excel spreadsheet and more like your favorite video game?

A growing number of finance applications are making that a reality. By using the same strategies video game designers have been optimizing for decades, gamifying personal finance could be one of the most efficient ways to help people save for the future while reaping instant psychological rewards. But it doesn’t come without risks.

What is gamification?

In simple terms, gamification takes the motivating power of video games and applies it to other areas of life. The global research company Gartner offers a slightly more technical definition of gamification: “the use of game mechanics and experience design to digitally engage and motivate people to achieve their goals.”

The odds are you have encountered gamification already. It’s utilized by many popular apps, websites, and devices. For example, LinkedIn displays progress bars representing how much profile information you have filled out. The Apple Watch has a “Close Your Rings” feature that shows how many steps you need to walk to meet your daily goal.

Brands have used gamification to boost customer engagement for decades. For example, McDonald’s launched its Monopoly game in 1987, which essentially attached lottery tickets to menu items, while M&M’s gained consumer attention with Eye-Spy Pretzel, an online scavenger hunt game that went viral in 2010.

In addition to marketing, gamification is used in social media, fitness, education, crowdfunding, military recruitment, and employee training, just to name a few applications. The Chinese government has even gamified aspects of its Social Credit System, in which citizens perform or refrain from various activities to earn points that represent trustworthiness.

Finance is arguably one of the best-suited fields for gamification. One reason is that financial data can be easily measured and graphed. Perhaps more importantly, financial decisions occur in the background of almost everything we do in modern life, from deciding what we eat for lunch to where we are going to spend our lives.

Gamification doesn’t just make boring stuff fun; it’s also an effective way to change our behavior. Used properly, it can also disrupt our habits.

The nature of habits

It’s tempting to think that we make our way through life by thoughtfully considering the information before us and making sensible choices. That’s not really the case. Research suggests that about 40 percent of our daily activities are performed out of habit, a term the American Journal of Psychology defines as a “more or less fixed way of thinking, willing, or feeling acquired through previous repetition of a mental experience.”

In other words, we spend much of our lives on autopilot. From an evolutionary perspective, it makes sense that we rely on habits: our brains require a lot of energy, especially when we’re faced with tough decisions and complex problems, like financial planning. It’s relatively easy to rely on learned behavioral patterns that provide a quick, reliable solution. However, those patterns don’t always serve our long-term interests.

Saving money is a good example. Imagine you have $500 with which to do whatever you want. You could invest it. Or you could go on a shopping spree. Unfortunately, the brain doesn’t process these two options the same way; in fact, it actually processes the investing option as something like a pain stimulus.

Why gamification works

Saving is painful. But can’t people simply choose to be more financially responsible? In short: Yes, but it takes a lot of effort. After all, when it comes to changing behavior, willpower is only part of the equation.

Some psychologists think willpower is a finite resource, or that it’s like an emotion whose motivational power ebbs and flows based on what’s happening around us. For example, you might establish a monthly budget and stick to it for a couple weeks. But then you get stressed. The next time you’re out shopping, you might find it harder to resist making an impulsive purchase in your stressed-out state.

Pixel Art Lootvlasdv via Adobe Stock

“A growing body of research shows that resisting repeated temptations takes a mental toll,” the American Psychological Association writes. “Some experts liken willpower to a muscle that can get fatigued from overuse.” In the terminology of psychology, this is called ego depletion.

Gamification offers a way to outsource your willpower. That’s because games offer psychological rewards that can motivate us to perform certain actions that might otherwise have seemed too boring, taxing, or emotionally draining. What’s more, gamifying parts of your life is less of a change of mind and more of a change of environment.

A 2017 study published in Computers in Human Behavior noted that “enriching the environment with game design elements, as gamification does by definition, directly modifies that environment, thereby potentially affecting motivational and psychological user experiences.”

The study argued that games are most motivational when they address three key psychological needs: competence, autonomy, and social relatedness. It’s easy to imagine how games can tap into these categories. For competence, games can feature badges and performance graphs. For autonomy, games can offer customizable avatars. And for social relatedness, games can feature compelling storylines and multiplayer gameplay.

Gamification and the brain

Games can motivate us by satisfying our psychological needs and giving us a sense of reward. From a neurological perspective, this occurs through the release of “feel-good” neurotransmitters, namely dopamine and oxytocin.

“Two core things have to happen in the brain to influence your decision-making,” Paul Zak, a neuroscientist and professor of economic sciences at Claremont Graduate University, told Big Think. “The first is you have to attend to that information. That’s driven by the brain’s production of dopamine. The second thing, you’ve got to get my lazy brain to care about the outcomes. And that caring is driven by emotional resonance. And that’s associated with the brain’s production of oxytocin.”

Cheerful Father And Son Competing In Video Games At HomeProstock-studio via Adobe Stock

When released simultaneously, these neurotransmitters can put us into a state that Zak calls “neurologic immersion.” In this state, our everyday habits have less control over our behavior, and we’re better able to take deliberate action. It’s an idea Zak and his colleagues developed over two decades of using brain-imaging technology to study the nature of extraordinary experiences.

As he wrote in an article published by the World Experience Organization, neurologic immersion can occur when experiences, including video games, are unexpected, emotionally charged, narrowing one’s focus to the experience itself, easy to remember, and provoking actions.

“The components of the extraordinary come as a package, not in isolation from each other,” Zak wrote. “It’s the ‘action’ part that is key to finding immersion. Extraordinary experiences cause people to take an action, whether it’s donating to charity, buying a product, posting on social media, or returning to enjoy an experience again.”

Games can invoke these types of immersive experiences.. But how exactly are financial organizations using gamification to help people “level up” their financial futures?

Gamifying personal finance

Banks and financial companies have been using gamification for years. What started with simple concepts, like PNC Bank’s “Punch the Pig” savings feature, has evolved into a diverse field of games that are helping people stick to budgets, save money, and pay off debt.

What’s surprising about the gamification of personal finance is that some of the most successful apps are redirecting destructive financial behaviors, like buying lottery tickets, toward positive outcomes. One example is an app called Long Game, which uses an approach called “lottery savings.”

“People actually really love the lottery,” Lindsay Holden, co-founder and CEO of Long Game, told Big Think. “The lottery today is a $70-billion-dollar industry in the U.S., and the people that are buying lotto tickets are the people that least should be buying lotto tickets. And so how can we redirect that spend into something that’s helping them in their lives?”

Long Game’s answer is to encourage users to make automatic or one-time investments into a prize-linked savings account. As users make investments, they earn coins that can be used to play games, some of which offer cash prizes. But unlike the real lottery, the prize money comes from banks that are partnered with Long Game, meaning users can’t lose their principal investment.

Blast is a savings app aimed at traditional gamers. The platform lets users connect a savings account to their video game accounts. Users then set performance goals in the video games, such as killing a certain number of enemies. Accomplishing these goals triggers a pre-selected investment into the savings accounts. In addition to earning interest, users can also win prize money by accomplishing certain missions or placing high on public leaderboards.

“Gamers tell us they feel better with the time they spend gaming when they know they are micro-saving or micro-earning in the background,” Blast co-founder and CEO Walter Cruttenden said in a statement.

Young gamer playing a video game wearing headphones.sezer66 via Adobe Stock

Fortune City takes a different approach to gamified finance. The app encourages users to track their spending habits, which are represented by visually appealing graphs. As users log expenses, they’re able to build buildings in their own virtual city. The expense categories match the types of buildings users can construct; for example, buying food lets users construct a restaurant. It’s like “SimCity” meets certified public accountant.

The risks of gamification

Gamifying your finances might help you save money, but it doesn’t come without risks. After all, receiving extrinsic rewards when we perform a behavior can affect our intrinsic motivation to repeat that behavior both positively and negatively. It’s a phenomenon called the overjustification effect.

In addition, gamified finance apps can also be addictive and encourage risky financial behavior. Robinhood, for example, uses visually appealing performance metrics and lottery-like game elements to incentivize the trading of stocks and cryptocurrencies. But while investing in these assets might be a good financial decision for some people, Robinhood arguably encourages its users to be “players” in the difficult world of trading, not necessarily rational investors.

What’s more, gamification doesn’t seem to work for everyone.

“From social psychology and behavioural economics, we know that the most likely [result of] gamification [is that you] will motivate some people, will demotivate other people, and for a third group there’ll be no effect at all,” noted a 2017 study on gamification and mobile banking published in Internet Research.

But given that 14.1 million Americans are unbanked, and millions more struggle with financial literacy, it’s reasonable to think that gamified finance apps could help many people work toward financial independence.

“One of the most interesting things we’ve found is that people want help when it comes to making difficult decisions,” Zak told Big Think. “In my view, any app that helps you be a more effective saver is probably a good app. But I think we have to do a lot more work to really understand the underlying neuroscience of gamification. And so we need to continue to design games that teach you more about how to ‘level up in life,’ not just level up in the game.”

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Where you live after graduation also affects its value, according to a May 2020 study by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, a conservative nonprofit think tank.

“In general, college degrees are a good investment, but the return on investment when it comes to cosmopolitan areas is phenomenal,” said John Winters, associate professor of economics at Iowa State University who conducted the study.

In cities, undergraduate graduates earn an average of $ 95,229, an 86.2% premium compared to an employee with a high school degree and a 55.7% premium compared to an associate degree.

According to Winters, this is mainly because cities have a higher concentration of jobs in areas that often require a four-year degree, such as engineering, finance and marketing. Workers in these areas earn higher wages, which translates into a higher return on investment for deals.

However, Winters’ results also mean that having a four-year degree is less important if you want to live in a smaller metropolis or rural area. Undergraduate graduates in non-urban areas have a median income of $ 67,893, which is a premium of 46.4% compared to high school diploma holders and a premium of 29.6% compared to associate degree holders.

Degree does not guarantee equal opportunities

In some ways, college degrees can exacerbate income and racial inequalities, such as student debt and the ability to repay that debt, says Marshall Anthony Jr., a senior policy analyst at the Center for American Progress, a public policy research organization.