3 Biases That Can Impact Financial Decision-Making

Julia Carlson |

3 Biases That Can Impact Financial Decision-Making 

Investors are frequently advised against not letting their emotions influence their decisions. However, they are seldom alerted to the possibility that their preconceived notions and biases may also influence their financial choices. 

Our biases can override facts. Recognizing this can help avoid unexamined choices in personal finance. Here are three examples of biased behavior that can creep into our financial lives. 

Recency Bias:  

In the world of investments, up-to-date information holds more value than outdated news. However, when the latest news reports have a positive or negative tone, it can cause us to forget the historical trends and patterns of the stock market. It's essential to remain vigilant and aware of the potential for market shifts, even when the current news seems overwhelmingly positive or negative. 

Overconfidence Bias: 

As we gain more experience in investing, our confidence in our investment choices tends to grow. Success in a rising market can reinforce this, leading to overconfidence. We may start to believe that we possess flawless investment skills or that the favorable market conditions will persist indefinitely. This can be risky. 

Herd Mentality Bias: 

You know how this goes: If everyone is doing something, they must be doing it for sound and logical reasons. The herd mentality can lead investors to make poor decisions, such as buying high, selling low, and panic selling. Social media exacerbates this problem by encouraging market timing and potentially impacting overall performance. 

Reflecting on the basis of our certainty and examining our preconceptions can be incredibly helpful and informative. By questioning our assumptions, we gain a deeper understanding of our biases and potential blind spots. This introspective process can assist us in making well-informed and less biased investment decisions. 

Information in this material is for general information only and not intended as investment, tax or legal advice. Please consult the appropriate professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation prior to making any financial decision.  

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