Applied Behavioral Finance


Behavioral Finance has created a huge body of evidence to support the idea that so-called rational man is anything but.  Knowing this is a good first step: self-awareness leads the way to change.


As any good 12-stepper knows, acknowledging and addressing the problem is the way through to the solution. When we fully accept that we are all-too-human and prone to decision biases, we can then set about attaining investment “sobriety.” We can honestly and courageously examine our own decision making and our team’s decision making to see where they need improving. The 12-step analogy is useful in creating a solution because a team—rather than anyone individual—is more likely to provide the necessary feedback for correcting biases. We need to trust our teammates to spot our biases and then candidly report them to us. Many investors harbor the self-deluding notion that “other people cannot see their blindspots, but I can see mine.” Overconfidence bias (in this case, the belief that I am more self-aware than others) is possibly the biggest hindrance to correcting biases.


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