Anchoring

AAA

DEFINITION of 'Anchoring'

The use of irrelevant information as a reference for evaluating or estimating some unknown value or information. When anchoring, people base decisions or estimates on events or values known to them, even though these facts may have no bearing on the actual event or value.

INVESTOPEDIA EXPLAINS 'Anchoring'

Here's an everyday example: a friend asks how much you pay in rent for your 800-square-foot apartment, and then asks how much a 1,100-sq-ft apartment would cost to rent in the same building. Would you make an estimate by adding a little more to what you pay even if you've no idea of the actual costs? If so, you would be anchoring your estimate onto what you pay for your apartment.

In the context of investing, investors will tend to hang on to losing investments by waiting for the investment to break even at the price at which it was purchased. Thus, they anchor the value of their investment to the value it once had, and instead of selling it to realize the loss, they take on greater risk by holding it in the hopes it will go back up to its purchase price.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Frame Dependence

    The human tendency to view a scenario differently depending on ...
  2. Organizational Behavior - OB

    The study of the way people interact within groups. Normally ...
  3. Prospect Theory

    A theory that people value gains and losses differently and, ...
  4. Behaviorist

    1. One who accepts or assumes the theory of behaviorism (behavioral ...
  5. Gambler's Fallacy

    When an individual erroneously believes that the onset of a certain ...
  6. Risk Averse

    A description of an investor who, when faced with two investments ...
Related Articles
  1. Active Trading Fundamentals

    4 Psychological Traps That Are Killing Your Portfolio

    Sometimes your largest financial hurdle is our head. Learn about the common mind-traps that trip up investors.
  2. Active Trading Fundamentals

    An Introduction To Consensus Indicators

    Learn how the herd is almost always wrong, or at least late in jumping on the bandwagon.
  3. Active Trading Fundamentals

    An Introduction To Behavioral Finance

    Curious about how emotions and biases affect the market? Find some useful insight here.
  4. Active Trading Fundamentals

    2 Indexes That Help Assess Market Behavior

    The Herrick Payoff Index and New-High New-Low Index are some of the more interesting (and often complex) measures of crowd psychology.
  5. Active Trading Fundamentals

    Behavioral Finance

    Learn the science behind irrational decision making and how you can avoid it.
  6. Trading Strategies

    How effective is creating trade entries after spotting an Exhaustion Gap pattern?

    Understand the components of the exhaustion gap pattern, how and why it occurs, and how it can be used to create an effective trading strategy.
  7. Chart Advisor

    Is It A Breakout? See The Point-And-Figure Chart

    These stocks have broken out of a triple top formation using point-and-figure charting, a bullish sign.
  8. Chart Advisor

    A Multi-Asset Income ETF For Defensive Investors

    In light of market volatility and worries that stocks are overbought, one product worth noting is the Guggenheim Multi-Asset Income ETF.
  9. Chart Advisor

    These Stocks Offer Range-Trading Opportunities

    These stocks are trading in ranges (or were recently) and present opportunities to buy at support or short sell at resistance.
  10. Investing has its ups and downs, but financial advisers can do much to prepare their clients and their clients' portfolios for such volatility.
    Investing Basics

    How Advisors Can Help Clients Stomach Volatility

    Investing has its ups and downs, but financial advisers can do much to prepare their clients and their clients' portfolios for such volatility.

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Commodity

    1. A basic good used in commerce that is interchangeable with other commodities of the same type. Commodities are most often ...
  2. Deferred Revenue

    Advance payments or unearned revenue, recorded on the recipient's balance sheet as a liability, until the services have been ...
  3. Multinational Corporation - MNC

    A corporation that has its facilities and other assets in at least one country other than its home country. Such companies ...
  4. SWOT Analysis

    A tool that identifies the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of an organization. Specifically, SWOT is a basic, ...
  5. Simple Interest

    A quick method of calculating the interest charge on a loan. Simple interest is determined by multiplying the interest rate ...
  6. Special Administrative Region - SAR

    Unique geographical areas with a high degree of autonomy set up by the People's Republic of China. The Special Administrative ...
Trading Center