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How Personal Perceptions Shape Our View of the Economy Podcast Ep. 13

How Personal Perceptions Shape Our View of the Economy | Ep. 13 Not Just Numbers Podcast

How Personal Perceptions Shape Our View of the Economy

Introduction: Economic perceptions insights play a crucial role in shaping how we view the broader economy. In episode 13 of the Not Just Numbers Podcast, Madison Demora and Mike Garry discuss an insightful article by Jeff Edelstein in the Trentonian based on a tweet by New York Times columnist David Brooks, which sparked a conversation about the current economic situation. 

Public Perception vs. Personal Financial Well-Being

Madison and Mike discuss the article, which highlights a significant disparity: while only 18% of people believed the economy was good or excellent, 73% felt that they were doing at least okay financially. This “everything is terrible, but I’m fine” philosophy suggests that people often view the world more negatively than their personal circumstances.

Mike explains that this perception gap is real and persistent. Many of his clients, who are generally better off than the average American, tend to think the economy is bad while acknowledging their own financial stability. This disparity is a key part of economic perceptions insights.

Inflation Perceptions and Social Media’s Role

Madison asks how people can believe national inflation is rising while expecting it to decrease in their own lives. Mike points out that inflation is a highly personal experience. For instance, his own inflation rate has decreased because his major expenses, like school fees for his children, are no longer relevant, whereas younger people renting apartments might face rising costs.

Mike also discusses the role of social media in shaping these perceptions. While social media can amplify negativity, the condition of viewing the world negatively existed long before its advent. Social media, like traditional media, tends to highlight outliers and bad news, skewing public perception towards a more negative outlook. These factors contribute significantly to economic perceptions insights.

Gaining Perspective and Staying Realistic

Mike emphasizes the importance of historical perspective in understanding economic conditions. He recounts a personal story from 2008 during the Great Financial Crisis to illustrate how perceptions can often be more negative than reality. He highlights that part of his job as an advisor is to help clients maintain a realistic perspective by comparing current conditions to historical events.

Interview with Rico Rodriguez

The episode also features an interview with Rico Rodriguez, a realtor at Berkshire Hathaway in Yardley. Rico shares his personal and professional journey, offering valuable insights into the real estate market. He discusses the impact of the pandemic on his business and the importance of relationships in real estate.

Rico’s story about his recovery from a severe COVID-19 infection and the support he received from his community adds an emotional and inspirational layer to the episode. His experience underscores the value of resilience and community support, aligning with the episode’s broader theme of personal perceptions and realities. These experiences also provide practical economic perceptions insights.


Madison and Mike express their gratitude to Rico for sharing his story and insights. They also highlight the importance of gaining perspective on economic conditions and encourage listeners to consider both personal and broader economic factors when forming their views.

For more insights and discussions, listen to the full episode of Not Just Numbers and explore other episodes featuring conversations on financial planning, investing, and local business stories. And watch the video below for an engaging recap of the episode.

Michael Garry Yardley Wealth Management

Author Michael Garry Yardley Wealth Management

Michael Garry is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioner and a NAPFA-registered Financial Advisor. He is a member of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) and the Financial Planning Association (FPA).

More posts by Michael Garry Yardley Wealth Management