What an Economist gets his Wife for Valentines

by on February 14, 2008 at 7:49 am in Economics, The Arts | Permalink


Even though I explained that only someone who truly loved her could afford to give her a gift of this kind, she appeared not to be as impressed as I had hoped.


If you dare to test the theory yourself you can find more here.

1 Ironman February 14, 2008 at 8:28 am

Only because I sense that it might be direly needed, here’s a link to our tool “Should You Apologize?

As a counterpart for those seeking ideas for what to give an economist for Valentines, see “Why Cavemen Love Free Trade!

2 Mason February 14, 2008 at 9:59 am

As far as better signals go. I considered proposing to my girlfriend with a document showing I had opened a Roth IRA and deposited $5,000 on her behalf.

I thought this would be a better signal because:

Even if she said no, the money was hers. There’s no way to give it back (until 59 anyway), it was to be for her enjoyment regardless of how she felt about me. Stronger signal for love.

Way better investment, as we know raw materials depreciate (after inflation adjustments), and I would expect to get about 10% real return in a Roth. Stronger signal for thinking about our future together.

In the end I thought the signal it would send about being weird would be the overpowering one, so I went with the $5k ring, maybe I should have split the difference, (maybe I should have put the weird on the table). However it is a sweet ring, and should bring her a decent amount of utility over the years.

3 mph February 14, 2008 at 11:38 am

Mason, there are no taxes or penalties on the withdrawal of contributions from a Roth IRA. She could have withdrawn the $5,000 and given it back to you. (Accrued earnings are a different matter.)

4 spencer February 14, 2008 at 5:02 pm

My valentine for my wife says:

I love you more today then yesterday.

Yesterday I was really irritated at you.

5 hmmm February 15, 2008 at 10:28 am

Actually, I partially did what Mason proposed. When proposing to my ex-fiancee (this will be explained later), I bought the traditional diamond ring, but I also opened a roth-IRA in her name, and deposited $3k (max at time). Of course, being a lawyer, i made this gift “in contemplation of marriage”. When the engagement was broken off several months later (her fault), I got the ring back, and she was compelled to write me a check for the $3k.

Take it for what it’s worth, it was a great gift, though it didn’t work that time. The next time I proposed, I bought a house instead. That one worked 😉

6 Terri W February 15, 2008 at 3:03 pm

Once I saw this link, I sent it to my husband. And I now apparently have a stunning diamond necklace coming my way. Thank you, Alex!

(Also, after he ordered it, he got an email from the person who runs that site asking where he heard about it — for some unknown-to-her reason, she started getting a huge number of orders yesterday…)

7 megs February 16, 2008 at 12:17 am

I made my husband dinner and chocolate mousse for dessert. He got me a new iPod. Granted, my old one had recently died, but now I feel unequal! I did get him good the one year I sent him flowers to his office. I think he’s still paying me back for that one.

What, doesn’t everyone think of gifts as methods of revenge?

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