Cold Truth About Emotional Investing

Consider an excerpt:

WSJ: What do you mean by emotional finance?

PROF. TUCKETT: What we try to do in emotional finance is start with the fact that the future is unknowable. The key thing about uncertainty is that it inevitably generates feelings. Because it matters to you, because your money’s on the line, so to speak, you’re bound to feel emotionally engaged.

WSJ: Some people think pros are more rational than individual investors.

PROF. TAFFLER: Although most of the fund managers we interviewed saw part of their particular competitive advantage as remaining, as they described it, unemotional or rational, in practice they were just as emotional as anyone else when they started to talk about the stocks they had invested in. There were lots of examples where they referred to them almost as if they were lovers.

If you’re entering into an emotional relationship with a stock, an asset or a company that can let you down, this leads to anxiety, which is often not consciously acknowledged. But it’s there, bubbling beneath the surface.

WSJ: The fund managers told stories about their investments. What was the role you found that storytelling played in their decision making? (more…)

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