‘The heart has its reasons’: emotions and cognition in the world of finance

Let’s call him James, a trader in a City investment bank; young, smartly dressed, confident, and a little impatient. He sat across from me in the interview: “It’s really important to stay cool. For myself, I can say that I really don’t have much emotion while I trade”. Half an hour later, as he relaxed … More ‘The heart has its reasons’: emotions and cognition in the world of finance

On fund-managers, rats and hermit crabs: reversion to familiar habits under stress

Hermit crabs rely on acquiring discarded shells for their protection and are constantly on the look-out for better shells. However, faced with environmental stress they prefer to stick with their old shell, however unsuitable, than risk moving to a new one[i]. Experiments with rats show that under stress habitual behaviour persists longer in the face … More On fund-managers, rats and hermit crabs: reversion to familiar habits under stress

It’s clouds’ illusions I recall . . . trading and the illusion of control

Humans have a great capacity for exercising control over their environment and for detecting patterns in the confusing mass of information they face. This capacity can also mislead; not least in financial markets. Have you ever looked at the clouds and seen faces or the shapes of animals. Did you as a child see monsters … More It’s clouds’ illusions I recall . . . trading and the illusion of control

Welcome to the emotional finance blog

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. Yet, economic accounts of human financial behaviour focus on reasoned weighting of … More Welcome to the emotional finance blog