I'm taking a Financial Planning course at school, and in one of the sections, they talk about buying decisions.
It says you should research and ask for advice if a product is expensive, complex, or there are lots of vendors selling different things. It says not to do this if the item is "simple and rarely purchased". Can't help but see a giant, kitchen-knife-sized hole in that logic. Most people consider them to be simple(because they are) and seldom-purchased(because they are), and most retailers only sell 1 or 2 of maybe half a dozen brands--Dexter/Russel, Chicago Cutlery, Wusthof, Henckels, Shun, Farberware, Forschner.
It's thinking like this that has made us a society of people where the successful(even non-wealthy) can have the resources to purchase portions of multi-national corporations and don't eat healthful meals, or have shoes that last longer than a year. I mean, the simple, rarely purchased things...those are the items I focus on researching! They are the things that fill your life. I will never spend a day off enjoying my Bank Statement, or my Rental Agreement, but my I never have trouble seeing things in the dark(now that I have my 4sevens), my knives make cooking enjoyable/better/less wasteful, and my phone is helpful on an hourly basis.
How does everyone else feel about this? Do you focus on analyzing your purchase of the simple, everyday things, or do you go with whatever and focus on more large-scale, abstractions, like insurance and investments?
P.S. It also said that one of the things that does NOT affect purchasing decisions is "Hobbies". Perhaps they need an account here...