Sunday, November 22, 2009

Six traps investors should avoid


1) Anchoring trap. The mind gives a disproportionate amount of weight to the first information received on a topic. Avoid premature conclusions.

2) Status quo trap. Forecasts tend to perpetuate recent observations. If inflation has been high, it is expected to remain high. It is a psychological risk to assume something different.

3) Confirming evidence trap. Individuals give greater weight to information that supports an existing point of view. Run an idea by an independent-minded person. We tend to see evidence that supports what we believe to be true.

4) Overconfidence trap. Individuals overestimate the accuracy of their forecasts. Widening the range of expected possible outcomes is one way to mitigate this tendency.

5) Prudence trap. There is a tendency to temper forecasts that appear extreme. If a forecast turns out to be extreme and then wrong, it could be damaging to one's career. Therefore, sticking to the herd is safer.

6) Recallability trap. Individuals are overly influenced by events that have left a strong impression on a person's memory. These events tend to be catastrophic or dramatic. To avoid falling into this trap, individuals should ground their conclusions in objective data rather than emotion or memories.

Source: [Original article here]

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