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 a little, the façade had started to crack:
“Actually the pressure can be horrendous, a trade goes badly wrong, you are staring into black hole, frozen, knowing you should get out but just hoping the market will turn . . I rushed off the desk and threw up in the toilet – I was terrified”.
Can understanding the psychology of investment behaviour help you outperform the market? Probably not, but it can certainly help reduce the probability that you will under-perform the market. This matters, because the majority of private investors under-perform. One compelling piece of research evidence comes from a careful analysis, carried out by Dalbar research, of the […]
Mark Fenton-O’Creevy and David Jones of IG Index discuss emotions and trading at the London Stock Exchange
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 […]
A brief trawl of media comment on the banking industry over the last few years suggests that the industry is awash with criminals and fraudsters. The picture of traders, often presented in the press, is of amoral risk-takers with bosses who are always ready to turn a blind eye if profits are being made. There […]