In a previous blog, The Psychology of Investing, we discussed how the concepts of loss aversion, recency bias, and selective memory can impact an investment strategy and tolerance for risk. None of us are immune to these potential psychological traps, so it’s important to be aware of the underlying feelings motivating our investment decisions. It’s a challenging but necessary exercise to separate our rational, analytical mind from our emotional response to the highs and lows of market fluctuations (and any other life circumstances we may be navigating at the time). In many ways, investing isn’t only about how the market behaves, but how we react to watching our wealth rise and fall as well. With this in mind, let’s further examine how our conscious and unconscious perceptions are intertwined with the choices we make for our investment portfolios.
2020 has taken us on a ride of the unexpected and unpredictable… From a global pandemic, mandated quarantines, and market volatility to a presidential election with record voter turnout, this year continues to shine a light on what we have typically taken for granted. A major part of the conversation surrounding the events of 2020 is how it affected us financially. An all-time high for jobless claims in the United States led to economic challenges only comparable to the Great Depression and Great Recession.
With so many struggling, people have been forced to adjust their approach to their personal finances including spending, saving, and investing.
Imagine if your doctor followed this standard when recommending medical treatment: you need a treatment for a serious ailment and the doctor recommends a “suitable” treatment. Not the best or most appropriate treatment, but a suitable one. He could offer you superior treatment, but instead he recommends a treatment using a pharmaceutical company that, in fact, pays him a good deal of money for such recommendations.
Have you ever felt the rush of excitement when a friend mentions she recently purchased an investment property? You immediately start dreaming of passive income pouring in on a monthly basis (aka, someone else paying your mortgage) and soon you’re calling your friend’s real estate agent.