The stories we tell ourselves about futures and the impact of our actions in them are important acts of imagination which enable us to act, despite uncertainty. However, they can also become over-comfortable refuges from the anxiety provoked by uncertainty and a route to disregarding important information and perspectives which challenge our certainties.
On holding losers and selling winners: our emotional brains and the disposition effects
I am delighted to introduce a guest blog by Dr Daniel Richards about some research we collaborated on. The disposition effect describes a bias that causes investors to be more willing to sell investments that have risen in in value than those that have fallen in value. Our research shows that investors who rely less on emotions and intuition and investors who manage their emotions more effectively are less likely to show this investment bias.
Scams, Victims, and Scammers
Successful fraud requires both a set of skills and a willingness to deliberately target and deceive others. The most successful fraudsters have a capacity to look us in the eye, to engage our trust and then betray it without a qualm. This capacity is actually quite rare and often associated with personality disorder (or perhaps… Continue reading Scams, Victims, and Scammers
Money and relationships
"Money doesn't talk it swears" Bob Dylan Differences in attitudes to money are a major cause of disagreements in relationships. Research shows that financial disagreements are one of the more frequent and less easily resolved causes of relationship conflict. One study found that whilst people are often attracted to potential partners with different emotional reactions to spending, that… Continue reading Money and relationships
‘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… Continue reading ‘The heart has its reasons’: emotions and cognition in the world of finance
Emotions and the financial behaviour of professionals.
I gave this talk at the launch of Essentia Analytics, an innovative firm developing software to help fund managers track and improve their susceptibility to behavioural biases. http://youtu.be/o5hwI1f06ao
Investment, Emotions and the Temple at Delphi*
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… Continue reading Investment, Emotions and the Temple at Delphi*
Shopping, impulsiveness and weapons of massive consumption
Marketers need to understand such consumer behavior in order to formulate appropriate marketing strategy, allocate marketing budget below-the-line and design effective marketing tactics…… In such instances the acts may be normatively positive and leave the shopper feeling good Bayley and Nancarrow 1998: 99 And I am a weapon of massive consumptionAnd it's not my fault… Continue reading Shopping, impulsiveness and weapons of massive consumption
On the false contrast between rationality and emotion
It is common to contrast emotions with rationality (usually in tandem with proclaiming the superiority of reason over emotion). Take for example this post on the changingminds blog. It is also the claim at the heart of Ayn Rand's morally barren apologia for the extremes of modern capitalism, 'Atlas Shrugged'. In this book she claims… Continue reading On the false contrast between rationality and emotion
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. (Photo credit: @Doug88888)Yet, economic accounts of human financial behaviour focus on reasoned… Continue reading Welcome to the emotional finance blog
LIBOR, rogue traders and the supply of motivated offenders
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… Continue reading LIBOR, rogue traders and the supply of motivated offenders