Economist and writer Allison Schrager has long been concerned that people are not sufficiently knowledgeable about the risk management fundamentals that can allow them to have basic financial literacy throughout their lives.
“I’ve worked in retirement finance for many years and noticed people often lack basic risk literacy. You often hear, people are lousy risk takers, but that’s not true. People are often good at taking risks in some areas of their life, areas where they have experience, and they can apply it elsewhere. We just need better education. This can empower people, not only to have a more secure retirement, but also how to get more out of life.”
Both excited and nervous upon receiving news of her acceptance to speak on the 2019 TEDxSanAntonio stage, Allison nevertheless regards this as an amazing opportunity to share her message. With a Ph.D. in economics and many years of experience in the field of financial risk management, Allison firmly believes people are capable of understanding the risks inherent in their financial decisions, and her talk will focus on the ways in which we can better understand the risks inherent in the decisions we make in the real (financial) world.
“I think we just need to tell better stories to help people understand this important life skill. Everyone can relate to it because we all weigh risk decisions, but many people don’t realize there is a practical science to risk-taking.”
With a doctorate from Columbia University, years of post-doctoral study with a Nobel laureate in economics, and a bestselling book “An Economist Walks Into a Brothel,” Allison brings tremendous experience and insight to this important discussion. But for all of her education and experience, Allison nonetheless realized right away that giving a talk on the TEDxSanAntonio stage is not without its challenges.
“Reducing my life’s work and my principal ideas to ten minutes, making every word count, is going to be challenging, to say the least. I also hate seeing myself talk on video. Speaking in front of a large audience is always nerve-wracking. It is harder than a Q/A format because you need to hold their attention every minute. A great talk looks easy and relatable, but is very difficult.”
Allison’s talk promises to be insightful and practical. In a world of increasing financial and technological complexity, it’s never too early to begin learning how to navigate risk.
“Risk taking is a critical life skill, but we never teach it, and then blame people for being bad risk takers. It doesn’t need to be that way.”