Money fractures marriages, drives wars, inspires art, motivates some people to great achievements, leads others to despair. Fear, desire, love, hate, jealousy, anger, anxiety, relief, shame and many more shades of emotion may attach to money in the course of an ordinary day.

Money Queen

(Photo credit: @Doug88888)

Yet, economic accounts of human financial behaviour focus on reasoned weighting of information and the utility of different courses of action. Back in the mid-nineties, whilst working as a researcher at London Business School, I got involved in a major research project looking at the risk taking behaviour of traders in investment banks. We were struck by how readily and how articulately many of the traders talked about their emotional experience of trading. This triggered my continuing interest in emotions and financial decision-making as I moved to the Open University Business School. I continue to do research on traders but have also increasingly looked at private investors and at everyday financial decision making.

English: A view from the south of Paternoster ...

London Stock Exchange (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Most recently myself and Adrian Furnham collaborated with the BBC to produce the Big Money Test. In this series of blogs I plan to bring together some of the online and media resources I like or have been involved in creating and write some fresh material inspired by recent events and research. I hope to shed some light on what often gets missed by economists; the rich emotional relationships we all have with money and the financial decisions we make.


Here are a few links to resources describing some of the work myself and colleagues have done in this area:-

Join the conversation! 2 Comments

  1. Hi Mark,

    I am glad to come across another blog related to the emotions of stock trading and investing. As a professional trader myself, I know the power of the key emotions that drive markets around the world, but most people underestimate its importance.

    For what its worth, you may be interested in a blog post I just made regarding the 4 major emotions that drive all markets (fear, greed, hope, and regret). If you want to check it out, it is located at:

    Looking forward to reading more of your posts in the future.


    • Thanks Deron. I enjoyed your blog post – which for me amounts to a good demonstration of why for many investor they should stick to time in the market rather than hoping to time the market. What are your views on the most effective ways for traders to manage their emotions?




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About Mark Fenton-O'Creevy

Mark Fenton-O'Creevy is Professor of Organisational Behaviour at the Open University and is Associate Dean (External Engagement) for the Open University Faculty of Business and Law, where he is also a member of the True Potential Centre for the Public Understanding of Finance (PUFin). He is an educator, researcher and consultant. He has a long standing interest in the work, behaviour and performance of professional traders. He has acted as an academic advisor to BBC programmes including the Money Programme', and 'The Love of Money' and (with Adrian Furnham) created the 'Big Money Test for the BBC's LabUK and the Watchdog programme.


Consumer Finance, Traders


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