Ritholtz on Hindsight Bias

“Everyone knew Trump would win all along,” writes Barry Ritholtz in last week’s BloombergView, arguing that such hindsight bias “haunts investors constantly.” Specifically, he explains, the human brain creates “stories after the fact to conform with what we now know.” Ritholtz uses the examples of; (1) the financial crisis, and how many people claimed (after the fact) to have seen it coming, and (2) the throngs of folks who say they predicted the success of… Read More

Emotions and Biases Play Huge Role in Bad Investment Decisions

In a recent New York Times article, columnist Gary Belsky observes that “the majority of cognitive biases and shortcuts that influence everyday judgement and choice have analogues in investment behavior.” In other words, insights from behavioral economics and finance explain why people don’t often behave rationally when investing. For example, amateur investors believe they can outperform the professionals, largely because of cognitive biases. The article highlights several, such as overconfidence and optimism biases, as described… Read More