Feb 12, 2022 - Economy

The money decisions people most regret

A cover of "The Power of Regret"

Source: Riverhead Books

When it comes to financial decisions, it's easy to have regrets. How many people wish they hadn't sold their Amazon stock in the dot-com crash, for example, or coulda-shoulda-woulda bought bitcoin in 2013?

Yes, but: That isn't the type financial regret that is most common, Daniel H. Pink, author of a new book on regret, tells Axios.

Pink collected regrets of 16,000 people in 105 countries for The Power of Regret — and the financial regrets people have fall most often into two buckets.

  • "First, people regret not building a strong foundation — that is, not saving money early, not being prudent," Pink says. "With financial regrets, they're less about not hitting a home run and more about not regularly getting on base."
  • "Second, people regret not being bolder in their careers," he add. "For instance, lots of folks regret staying in lackluster jobs instead of starting a business or even not being more entrepreneurial in their job-holding careers."

More broadly, Pink urges people to cast aside "no regrets" as a life motto and focus on how, properly channeled, regrets can make us happier and wiser.

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